for this game

Kelly, Gerber fuel Senators past Rangers

Dec 24, 2007 - 3:56 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Looking to avoid a third straight loss, the Ottawa Senators were in one of their favorite arenas.

Chris Kelly scored with 7:44 in the second period and Martin Gerber made 34 saves as the Senators continued their recent success at Madison Square Garden with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday night.

Ottawa has won its last five visits to MSG since a 5-1 loss on February 8, 2006. The Senators have also won 15 of their last 19 meetings with the Rangers and nine of their last 11 trips here.

"We get up for these games," Ottawa center Jason Spezza said. "They're big games for us and we realize they're one of the rivals for us in this conference and we have to be ready."

"It's always fun to play here," Gerber added. "It's loud, the crowd is into it and they're always tough games for us and we just seem to be able to come out of the better end so far. It's been great for us and it makes us more comfortable."

The Senators also snapped a two-game losing streak as they rebounded from Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. They tied the game late in the first when Spezza scored and went ahead on Kelly's seventh goal.

Ottawa also became the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach 50 points and this win came less than 24 hours after the Senators blew a 3-1 lead to Chicago.

"You get a couple of days," Spezza said. "You don't want to be thinking negatively about a three-game losing streak, so we got points in the last two games. Back-to-backs are tough, so we got the win."

"You don't want to be having to think about it," Ottawa coach John Paddock said. "I'm not saying anybody would be but it's an important win."

That was enough as Gerber allowed just a Scott Gomez tap-in 3:42 into the contest. He improved to 7-2-0 lifetime against the Rangers and has allowed just five goals in the four-game season series.

"He didn't (play well) the other game," Paddock said. "He was in the midst of a slump, but he's played very well against them. He's been very good against the Rangers."

The Senators were the second visiting team at the Garden. Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Lakers posted a 95-90 victory over the New York Knicks and when they clearing out the visitors locker room, Ottawa's equipment bags were arriving.

The Senators had just five shots in the opening period but got 12 saves from Gerber. They outshot the Rangers in the second and were rewarded for it when Kelly beat New York captain Jaromir Jagr to a rebound in the crease and swept a backhander past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

"It was a good move by Antoine (Vermette) and Shean (Donovan) to get in the zone and luckily their 'D' broke a stick and was kind of helpless in front and Shean made a great move," Kelly said. "I just kind of picked up the garbage and got it up."

Mike Fisher sealed with 10:52 remaining when he intercepted a poor clearing attempt by Chris Drury and his shot from above the right circle deflected off New York defenseman Marc Staal's stick and over Lundqvist's right shoulder.

The three unanswered goals sent Ottawa to its fifth straight road win and seventh in the last nine games overall (7-1-1).

"That's a pretty good team we played tonight," Rangers coach Tom Renney said.

The Rangers dropped their third in a row following Tuesday's 4-0 home win over Pittsburgh. They also are 2-6-2 since a 5-2 win at Ottawa on December 1.

"We are in a bad rut," Gomez said. "We have to find a way to improve. The way the league is, every night you have to bring it. We are right there and we just have to come back and get a win. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us."

Jagr failed to score for the 10th straight game but did set up Gomez, who extended his points streak to nine.

The game certainly did not start off on the wrong foot for the Rangers. They dominated play for the first few minutes and scored when Gomez put a backhander past Gerber, deflecting a centering feed from Jagr.

It was the third straight game New York scored first and blew it. They lost the lead when defenseman Michal Rozsival coughed it up to defenseman Luke Richardson in the neutral zone and Spezza finished the play by putting a shot inside the left post with 3:44 remaining.

After that it was nothing but frustration for the Rangers, who missed a few open nets, hit two posts, had a defenseman lose his stick that led Ottawa's second goal and during the third period appeared to have trouble with their balance on the ice.

"It's tough luck, we had a lot of chances," Jagr said. "That was the difference this game we scored only one."






  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Senators 3, Rangers 1  FinalMar 4 8:30 AM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1 1 3
    NY RANGERS 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 9 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA) 3:42
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 12 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, LUKE RICHARDSON)
    16:16
    2ND PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 7 (SHEAN DONOVAN, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 12:16
    3RD PRD: OTT -

    Dec 23 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    NY RANGERS 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - RANDY ROBITAILLE 5 (MIKE FISHER) 9:08

    Senators vs. RangersDec 23 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1 2
    NY RANGERS 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 9 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA) 3:42
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 12 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, LUKE RICHARDSON)
    16:16
    2ND PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 7 (SHEAN DONOVAN, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 12:16
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 23 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 7 (SHEAN DONOVAN, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 12:16

    Senators vs. RangersDec 23 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1
    NY RANGERS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 9 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA) 3:42
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 12 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, LUKE RICHARDSON)
    16:16
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 5

    Dec 23 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 12 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, LUKE RICHARDSON)
    16:16

    Senators vs. RangersDec 23 7:39 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - SCOTT GOMEZ 9 (JAROMIR JAGR, MARTIN STRAKA) 3:42

    Senators vs. RangersDec 23 7:15 PM