Craig Anderson was perfect for the Ottawa Senators as their first and fourth lines scored goals to secure a dominant 3-0 win over the New York Rangers at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday. This game was sweet redemption for the Senators, who lost 4-2 against the blue shirts earlier this week at Madison Square Garden in New York.
After Thursday’s game, Senators head coach Guy Boucher expressed how pleased he was with his team’s performance.
“The attitude was terrific, the work ethic was terrific, and our discipline was outstanding… this was a total 60 minute of everything we need to do and be.”
With the win, the Senators improve their record to 11-12-3 with 25 points, while the Rangers drop to 13-11-2 and remain at 28 points.
41 for #41
Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made the most of one of the more ‘quiet’ nights he has faced this season. With the Senators averaging an NHL-high 37.8 shots against per game, Anderson faced ‘only’ 27 pucks tonight, and stopped them all. The shut-out was number 41’s first of the 2018-19 season and 41st of his career.
“He deserved that one for sure. He looked really sharp right off the bat, and you could tell he was feeling it tonight. When he has that kind of body language and presence in there, it gives us a lot of confidence in front of him because we know he’s back there for us“, said assistant captain Matt Duchene in reference to his goaltender’s efforts.
While Boucher, Duchene, and others praised Anderson, the game’s second star reflected the praise right back at his teammates.
“It’s a great effort by everyone. The attention to detail was outstanding. We generated plenty of scoring changes, we had some pretty plays down in the offensive zone. Defensively, we were paying the price, doing the little things, making the right plays, making the right reads. It was just outstanding to see everyone clicking tonight.”
On the year, the Park Ridge, Illinois native owns a 10-9-3 record with a 3.69 goals-against average and .903 save percentage.
The Senators picked up right where they left off on Tuesday, after an incredible third period comeback to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.
Ottawa’s offense continued to sizzle throughout the first period, as they buzzed around Henrik Lundqvist and dominated possession in the Rangers zone. Bobby Ryan, Brady Tkachuk, and Thomas Chabot all carried creative offensive rushes that resulted in great scoring chances.
The Senators’ attack struck again at 14:35 of the first when Magnus Paajarvi scored his second of the year. After a marvelous effort by Tom Pyatt to hold the offensive zone, Zack Smith corralled the puck and fed it to a wide-open Paajarvi, who sent a wrist shot top-shelf.
“I don’t think I’ve ever scored on Lundqvist, that was nice“, said a proud Paajarvi after the game. “Our line played pretty good. Smith and Pyatt created a lot and we felt good together“.
Boucher also touted his fourth line’s solid effort and contributions in the win.
“They had a lot of energy…Paarjarvi’s been snake bitten, I think the boys, every time he’s shooting, they’re are all standing up on the bench for him. But I think just the fact that they give us so much momentum with their work and shutting down the opponent to give them nothing, that’s huge.”
Duchene capped the scoring at three this game when he finished a pretty passing play late in the second period from Batherson and Ryan Dzingel.
No Place Like Home
Contrary to their poor road record of 3-8-1, the Senators are 8-4-2 at home in Canadian Tire Centre this season. Batherson, in particular, has been especially dangerous on home ice. The 20-year-old has recorded all seven points (3G, 4A) in his eight career games at the CTC.
“When you score at home, you get the goal horn going off, you get the motivation, it’s fun playing in front of our fans… I really love playing here“, said Batherson post-game.
This game was Ottawa’s final game in November. It was a busy month for the Senators, who played 15 games in 30 days. Overall, the Sens went a respectable 7-7-1, securing 15 of 30 possible points. The Senators strong home play was evident again this month, with the Sens finishing 5-2-1 in Ottawa, and 2-5-0 away.
- After collecting an assist in tonight’s game, Dzingel recorded his 100th NHL point. In 214 career games with the Senators, Dzingel has an even split of 50 goals and 50 assists.
- Until 5:12 remaining in the third period, it appeared as though this game was going to be penalty-free. However, that ended when Tony DeAngelo of the Rangers was called for a two-minute minor penalty for roughing.
- Despite New York getting a penalty, Ottawa did not. This was the 12th time in franchise history where the Sens were penalty-free, and the first time since April 9, 2017, against the New York Islanders.
- Over the last two games, Ottawa has scored six consecutive goals and has not allowed a single goal against in four consecutive periods of hockey. Although it’s a small sample size, it is starting to create a sense of growing optimism that Ottawa’s defensive game is beginning to improve.
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- Matt Duchene, Ottawa (1G, 1A)
- Craig Anderson, Ottawa (1 shutout, 0.00 GAA, 1.00 SV%)
- Drake Batherson, Ottawa (1G, 1A, including the Game-Winner)
The Senators welcome Erik Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks to Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, Dec. 1. This is one of the most highly anticipated games of the Senators 2018-19 season, as the former captain and fan favourite makes his first return as a member of an opposing team.
|1||Ottawa||1-0||2:06||Drake Batherson (3)||Matt Duchene (21), Max Lajoie (6)|
|1||Ottawa||2-0||14:35||Magnus Paajarvi (2)||Zack Smith (6), Tom Pyatt (2)|
|2||Ottawa||3-0||17:00||Matt Duchene (12)||Drake Batherson (4), Ryan Dzingel (8)|
Cover Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the NHL’s Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter: @BillyMorrison01.