Senators-Rangers: Ottawa Snaps Two-Game Skid

Blood MobileCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2007

Icon Sports MediaThe Senators were on a six-game winning streak before losing their last two to Atlanta and to Chicago.

The loss to the Blackhawks was harder to take, seeing as the Sens had a 3-1 lead and lost 4-3 in overtime. If nothing else, it left Ottawa hungry for a win against the New York Rangers on Sunday night.

Scott Gomez opened the scoring for New York with goal off his own rebound from Jagr and Straka at 3:42 of the first period. The Senators didn't take long to respond, with Jason Spezza returning the favour with a quick snap shot from the slot that deflected off Marc Staal's leg to beat Henrik Lundqvist blocker side at 16:16 of the first period.

The Senators were lucky to come out of the first period even, with the shots 12-5 for the Rangers after the opening frame.

The Senators came flying out of the gates in the second period, but managed only a goal from Chris Kelly at 16:16. The scoring opportunity was created by some great work down low by Shean Donavan and Antoine Vermette. The trio were the best line for the Senators on Sunday.

The shot total for the second period was 14-10 in favor of the Senators.

The Rangers outplayed the Sens in the third period, but weren't able to capitalize because of a solid defensive effort from Ottawa and great goaltending by Martin Gerber.

The Senators got a late goal when Chris Drury was unable to clear the zone and Mike Fisher took a quick shot off the boards, which was deflected again by Staal over the shoulder of Lundqvist to make the score 3-1.

The shot total for the third period was 13-6 for the Rangers.

Overall, the Senators defence was solid in shutting down New York's big guns. Gerber had another excellent game for his 17th win of the season. Donovan, Vermette, and Kelly did everything right, and controlled the puck at will when they were on the ice.

Andrei Meszaros and Christoph Schubert also stepped for the Sens. Meszaros played against New York's top line, and did a great job of shutting them down apart from the first-period goal by Gomez. Schubert has struggled on the point at times, but last night proved that he deserves to play back there more often than he does.

I was extremely impressed by these two defenceman—which makes me worry less when a guy like Anton Volchenkov isn't in the lineup, because I know the subs are up to the challenge.