OTTAWA – The New York Rangers are going to have to work on their killer instinct if they want to move onto the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The Rangers led Ottawa 2-0 early in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final on Wednesday, but let the Senators back into it and lost 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Kyle Turris.
The best-of-seven series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday. The Senators will host Game 6 on Monday despite the fact that they have never held a lead in regulation in the series.
After the Senators came back from two one-goal deficits, Chris Neil scored in overtime of Game 2 in the Senators 3-2 win. They fell behind 4-0 to the Rangers in Game 1 before falling 4-2 and were shutout 1-0 in Game 3
“We’ve had good starts and they’re a good team, but we just need to find a way to win in overtime. That’s what it comes down to,” said Rangers defenceman Marc Staal.
“We took a string of penalties in the second and that hurt our momentum a little bit. They’ve got a good power play and we’ve got to stay out of the box. We let them back in but I though we rebounded and had a good third but we just couldn’t find a way in overtime.”
The Rangers took three penalties in the second period and the Senators used the third of those power plays to capitalize and tie the game. Sergei Gonchar scored at 17:50 with Artem Anisimov in the penalty box.
The Rangers scored goals on their first two power plays of the game as Anton Stralman and Ryan Callahan gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead a little more than six minutes in.
“Any time you have a lead you don’t want to lose it. But it doesn’t matter right now,” said Brad Richards, who assisted on both New York goals.
“It’s over and it’s time to move on to the next one. We’ll take a look at it and build on the stuff we did well and see where we need to improve.”
Milan Michalek had the only even-strength goal of regulation. It came 10 minutes before Gonchar tied the game.
“They had a good second period and we made it a little tougher on ourselves taking all the penalties,” Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. “They got some confidence on the power play and were moving the puck. They felt good about themselves and building their game from there.
“We regrouped and played really well in the third and did some good things but it wasn’t enough.”
The Senators will now carry the momentum into Game 5, but they realize that they will need to start getting leads in regulation if they are to have success long term in the series.
“We’ve got so much character in this room and that led us through. We rallied and tried to put pressure on them and chip away at their lead,” Turris said.
“It’s exciting. It’s a confidence builder and something to move forward on.”
The Rangers had a couple of scoring opportunities in overtime before Turris beat Lundqvist for the winner.
“It’s frustrating to lose in overtime, but there were some good things,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said.
“I think we still need some more guys involved but it was two overtimes, the series is 2-2 and we’re going back home.”