for this game

Rangers waste another two-goal lead, fall to Senators

Mar 14, 2007 - 4:36 AM
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Bad luck continues to plague Marek Malik and the New York Rangers.

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros scored on a deflection off Malik's stick midway through the third period, snapping a tie and lifting the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Rangers.

The loss dropped New York (34-28-8) two points behind Carolina (35-28-8) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes surged ahead with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

It was the fifth straight loss in which the Rangers owned a 2-0 lead and second in a row in which the decisive goal was deflected into New York's net by Malik. After squandering a 2-0 lead at Pittsburgh on Saturday, the Rangers lost in overtime when Colby Armstrong's shot went off the defenseman's stick and past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

"It happened too many times for our team and we have to figure out a way to win those games," New York's Michael Nylander said. "It happened several times in December and we have to be playing a bit more confident and play the same way."

"I'm just not sure if we're ready or not, or mature enough, to handle a lead like that," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "We might be better with a one-goal advantage. I want a two-goal lead every time we play, period. It could be that we can't put our feet on the throat (of the opposition)."

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson commiserated with Renney.

"A two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey because you think, 'OK, we got a good lead,'" Alfredsson said. "The way New York forechecked early, the didn't forecheck as hard and played a little bit safe in the second. ... It's a lot of pressure."

The Swedish netminder experienced a dose of deja vu in this one, as Meszaros' attempted pass from the slot at 8:48 of the third was redirected in off the stick of Malik, who was trying to break up the feed.

"I try to stop the puck. Things happen," Malik said. "But that's hockey, that's part of the game. Things like that happen and it cost us the game, and that's the bottom line."

"It's just a very tough break," Lundqvist added. "It's extra tough when it's the game-winning goal."

The goal was the first in 22 games for Meszaros, who credited teammate Jason Spezza on the play.

"He passed me the puck and I tried to pass back to (Dany) Heatley," Meszaros said. "But fortunately for me, (Malik) put the stick on it and I scored the game-winner. ... After 21 games (without a goal), it's a long streak. But the important thing is to win."

"We didn't know that (he could score)," Alfredsson said. "He came and got a great bounce, and he needed that, that's for sure. It was an unfortunate bounce for (Malik), but we needed that."

New York built a 2-0 advantage on a pair of first-period goals by Nylander. But Spezza and Alfredsson erased the deficit with tallies less than four minutes apart in the middle session.

"You want a lead in hockey, for sure," Nylander said. "We have to be able to play with the lead and play with the same intensity, but at the same time, play tight."

Spezza added an assist and Heatley set up a pair of goals for Ottawa (40-23-7), which climbed within seven points of first-place Buffalo (44-19-5) in the Northeast Division.

"They're really hot for us," Alfredsson said. "We know they're going to get one or two goals pretty much every night, and if that line is going pretty good, we have a good chance. That's been really key for us."

Ray Emery made 32 saves for Ottawa, which had lost three straight on the road but improved to 10-1-4 in its last 15 overall.

"It's very important to win on the road and have that confidence," Alfredsson said. "I think before, we were playing pretty solid on the road. We were getting points in pretty much every game."

"We got lucky, but we'll take it because we've had some rough third periods," Emery added.

Captain Jaromir Jagr recorded two assists for the Rangers, who had earned at least a point in each of their previous seven games (5-0-2).

"With everything bad, there's something good," Jagr said. "I believe something great is going to happen. We're waiting for it, but I believe something good is going to happen. You have some tough luck, but you keep fighting."

New York took a 1-0 lead when Nylander got his own rebound and glided across the top of the crease before sliding in backhander at 2:46 of the first period. The Swede doubled the advantage with 4:38 remaining in the session with his 22nd of the season.

Jagr grabbed the puck after the Rangers won a faceoff in the right circle and rushed to the net before having his stuff attempt stopped by Emery. A scramble in front ensued, and Nylander buried the loose puck to complete his second two-goal game of the season.

"It seemed like they got a couple of chintzy ones at the start," Emery said. "They were banging and working hard in there. We were disappointed after the first period and we really needed to turn things around."

The Senators began their comeback at 11:36 of the second, when Spezza deposited the rebound of Heatley's deflection from the doorstep. Alfredsson drew Ottawa even with 4:27 left in the period, firing a one-timer from the right faceoff dot over Lundqvist's left shoulder for his 25th tally.

"I kind of fanned on it a little bit," Alfredsson said. "I was able to squeeze it in under the crossbar."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 2 1 3
    NY RANGERS 2 0 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 21 (PETR PRUCHA, JAROMIR JAGR) 2:46
    NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 22 (BRAD ISBISTER, JAROMIR JAGR)
    15:22
    2ND PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 28 (DANY HEATLEY, WADE REDDEN) 11:36
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 25 (PE

    Mar 13 9:29 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Senators vs. RangersMar 13 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    NY RANGERS 2
    3RD PRD: OTT - ANDREJ MESZAROS 7 (JASON SPEZZA, DANY HEATLEY) 8:48

    Senators vs. RangersMar 13 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 2 2
    NY RANGERS 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 21 (PETR PRUCHA, JAROMIR JAGR) 2:46
    NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 22 (BRAD ISBISTER, JAROMIR JAGR)
    15:22
    2ND PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 28 (DANY HEATLEY, WADE REDDEN) 11:36
    OTT - DANIEL ALFR

    Mar 13 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 25 (PETER SCHAEFER, MIKE FISHER)
    15:33

    Senators vs. RangersMar 13 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 28 (DANY HEATLEY, WADE REDDEN) 11:36

    Senators vs. RangersMar 13 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA AT NY RANGERS
    NOTE:

    Mar 13 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 22 (BRAD ISBISTER, JAROMIR JAGR) 15:22

    Senators vs. RangersMar 13 7:37 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 21 (PETR PRUCHA, JAROMIR JAGR) 2:46

    Senators vs. RangersMar 13 7:13 PM