Rangers’ Season Comes To A Close As Ottawa Advances To Eastern Conference Finals

NEW YORK (AP) — Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist to help the Ottawa Senators advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their second-round series Tuesday night.

Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone scored in the first period to power Ottawa to a fast start, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an empty-netter. Clarke MacArthur had two assists, and Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots.

The Senators, headed to the conference finals for the first time since their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007, will face either Pittsburgh or Washington in the next round. Their series is headed to Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves.

The Rangers trailed 3-1 after two periods, but Kreider got them within one just 53 seconds into the third. He skated up the middle, went to his left and put the puck past Anderson for his third goal of the postseason.

New York outshot Ottawa 15-5 in the third but couldn’t get the equalizer. Kreider had a chance a little over 5 minutes in, but didn’t get a clean shot on a pass from Zibanejad as his attempt from in front trickled off his stick and was stopped by Anderson.

Lundqvist made some stellar saves late in the third, including a stop on Derick Brassard from the right side with 5 minutes left.

Pageau capped the scoring with 6.2 seconds left for his sixth of the series and seventh of the postseason.

Playing with a 2-0 lead, Ottawa was more aggressive to start the second period, outshooting the Rangers 6-1 over the first 7 minutes.

Anderson stopped a shot by Kevin Hayes and then smothered a follow attempt by Michael Grabner in front near the midpoint of the middle period.

Zibanejad got the Rangers on the scoreboard with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the second. He took a pass from Mats Zuccarello, skated in and beat Anderson on the glove side into the top right corner.

Karlsson then beat Lundqvist on the blocker side with 4:07 remaining to restore the Senators’ two-goal lead.

The Rangers outshot the Senators 13-10 in the first, but trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes. New York had three power plays and more scoring chances, but Ottawa was aggressive on defense while blocking nine shots in the opening period, and whatever got past the defense was stopped by Anderson.

Hoffman got the Senators on the scoreboard 4:27 into the game. He got the puck behind the net and sent a pass out to MacArthur. He then went in front of the net and deflected a shot from Karlsson past Lundqvist for his fourth of the playoffs.

It came on the Senators’ second shot on goal of the game and marked the first time Ottawa scored first in the series.

Anderson had to make a flurry of saves over the next few minutes, including tip attempts by Kreider and Rick Nash about 30 seconds apart.

Lundqvist also had a nice glove stop on a slap shot by Karlsson as he was falling to his left and into the goalpost.

Stone scored with 5:16 left in the first when he got a pass from MacArthur on the left side as he crossed the blue line, skated up and fired a shot past Lundqvist for his fourth of postseason. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault challenged the play for offside, but the goal stood after a review.

NOTES: The NHL announced the Rangers will face the Buffalo Sabres in the Winter Classic at Citi Field, home of baseball’s New York Mets. Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on television during the first intermission. … The Senators were 0 for 2 on the power play, finishing the series 1 for 18 and falling to 6 for 41 in the postseason. … The Rangers were 0 for 4 with the man advantage. They finished 2 for 24 in the series and 3 for 39 in the playoffs. … The Rangers lost for just the second time in their last 10 in a Game 6 or 7.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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