RANGERS BEATEN BY SENATORS – SEASON OVER

  Game Summary                           OTT: C. Anderson (W) NYR: H. Lundqvist (L)             Event Summary

–        SHOOTING GALLERY – The Rangers registered 39 shots on goal in tonight’s game, as 15 of 18 skaters recorded at least one shot on goal.

–        KILL ZONE – The Rangers were 2-for-2 (4:00) on the penalty kill in tonight’s contest. Dating back to the regular season, New York did not allow a power-play goal in 13 of its final 17 games. In addition, the Blueshirts did not allow a power play goal against in each of their final five games.

–        HITTING MACHINE – New York was credited with 30 hits in tonight’s contest. The Rangers registered 30 or more hits in each of their 12 playoff games this year, and as of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Blueshirts lead the NHL in hits in the 2017 Playoffs (499).

–        Mika Zibanejad registered two points (one goal, one assist), recorded three shots on goal, and won seven of 13 faceoffs (53.8%). He tallied eight points (two goals, six assists) in the final eight playoff games, as well as nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the final 10 playoff contests. Zibanejad led the Rangers in assists (seven) and points (nine) in the playoffs this year, and he also established playoff career-highs in goals (two), assists, and points in 2017. He posted three multi-point games in the playoffs this year, including two in the Second Round against Ottawa.

–        Chris Kreider recorded a goal, tied for the game-high with four hits, and registered four shots on goal. Kreider has recorded 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in 20 career playoff games in which the Rangers have faced elimination. He tallied his 23rd career playoff goal with the Rangers in tonight’s contest, passing Vic Hadfield, Anders Hedberg, and Don Maloney for sole possession of seventh place on the franchise’s all-time playoff goals list.

–        Mats Zuccarello tallied an assist, recorded five shots on goal, and was credited with two takeaways. He registered six points (three goals, three assists) in the final seven games, and he also notched five points (three goals, two assists) in the last four home games.

–        Nick Holden recorded an assist and was credited with two hits. Holden posted a three-game point streak over the final three games (two goals, one assist).

–        Brendan Smith notched an assist and recorded two hits in 17:25 of ice time. He led the team in plus/minus rating in the 2017 Playoffs (plus-eight), and he also ranked second among team defensemen in assists (four).

On tonight’s game …

“Without a doubt, I thought our guys were ready to play.  They were able to capitalize on a couple of their looks.  We threw a lot of pucks toward their net and tried to come back.  Their goaltender made some pretty good saves.” 

On the team’s start to the game …

“It’s not the way we obviously wanted to start.  Throughout this series, we started every game fairly well.  At the end of the day the four games we lost in this series it’s as simple as them making one more play defensively or one more play offensively.  We were in all of those games, we didn’t make the defensive play when we needed to and we didn’t make the offensive play to bury them.  You have to give them a lot of credit.  They played well and they deserved to win.” 

On the power play tonight …

“Our power play was well prepared.  Our guys knew where the opportunities would come from and at the end of the day we didn’t execute quickly enough.  Tonight we had a couple of looks but it obviously wasn’t good enough.”

On how tonight’s victory feels and how the team played…

“Well, I thought the players have shown again, character. I think that they really stuck together. What I like is, it’s easy to say but it’s difficult to do. We didn’t have two good games here and so I think the players reloaded emotionally, mentally and physically real well for home and then we wanted to do the same for this game and be better than we were the both times that we played here. And that meant that first period. We were 0-0 and then 1-0 and making sure we could build our game after that. I thought the players were extremely poised. They looked really rested and had a lot of energy. The bench was very confident. I think they managed extremely well.”

On the feeling in the locker room…

“Sometimes you look ahead and you try to plan how things are going to be. I think, after that it becomes experience and I think we’ve gained an experience. We’ve talked about it before the playoffs, is every game, whether we lose or win…we need to grow. We need to be better the next game. We need to learn something about our team because every game gets tougher when the opponent gets better and adjusts and the stakes get higher and higher, and the pressure is sometimes tough to manage. I think that’s what our players have done in the first round and I think that’s what they’ve done in the second round. Every game, we’ve felt like we’ve learned something. I think the adversity that we’ve lived the third and fourth game of the series here, absolutely helped us manage this game now. I think there were no jitters coming in. Our guys were excited coming in. We didn’t see it as a threat. We saw it as an opportunity. It starts with the mind and the players were terrific.”

On losing the series…

“Obviously it’s extremely disappointing. Quickly you think about this series and I think there are two things that stand out. The odd man rushes, that they kind of took advantage of and our 6-on-5 play. That was the big difference in this series. Other than that, I thought we played really well. We created a lot of chances and played with a lot of speed and emotion. But obviously losing all three up in Ottawa, where we had a chance to win a couple I think, it hurt us big time in this series. It’s a big one today to lose, but it definitely hurt us not getting it done up there being up a couple of goals.” 

On who holds the blame for the loss…

“I think we played well enough to win a lot of games here. We talked about it during the season that sometimes it is not about playing your best game, it is about finding a way to win games. They did that better than we did. But I thought we played really well. We put ourselves in a position to win almost every game. We just didn’t get it done. The last few minutes there in a couple of games, like I said, it hurt us there really bad in the series. We believed until the end that we could pull it off. Like you saw, we had a great third period, a great push, but we came up short. It’s going to hurt for a while.” 

On his feelings after getting eliminated…

“We are just going to have to wait and see. Right now all you feel is disappointment and it’s a numb feeling. It’s not a great feeling. You realize how much work and how many hours you put into this to put yourself in this spot to get this chance. You started in July, last summer, to start to train and to prepare. It was right there for us. Obviously the next week or so you are going to analyze your own game and analyze what we did as a group and personally, see what we could have done better, and learn from it.”

On the team’s play in the first period…

“We came out slow, it’s as simple as that.  We can’t put ourselves in a hole, but we did and I don’t know why.  We were all pretty focused in here, saying the right things.  But it’s a difference between saying and doing, and that showed up on the ice.” 

On not scoring on the power plays …

“We probably didn’t get in the zone as effective as we have other games and that gets us out of sync a little bit.  But at the end of the day, we’d like to create a few more shot opportunities with some traffic in front.  It’s simply not good enough.” 

On why this series didn’t go the way the team wanted it to …

“I don’t know if I’ve really ever gone through a series like this where we seemed to shoot ourselves in the foot as far as closing games out or not playing well in crucial situations.  We have nobody to blame but ourselves and that’s the truth of the situation.”

On whether or not the Rangers were the better team …

“I don’t know if you can say we were the better team because they won at the end of the day.  You have to give them credit.  They got the job done.  We had lots of leads in games especially on the road and we couldn’t close it out.  We’ve got to give them credit.  They were able to find ways to win games.” 

On the team’s slow start to the game …

“I thought we had some good starts in these games.  To go down 2-0 on an elimination game, it’s tough to bounce back.  I thought it was a killer to come back 2-1 and it was the next shift or two shifts later – it just can’t happen with all of that momentum to give them that 3-1 goal.” 

On the team’s lack of energy to start the game …

“I thought we had a good couple of shifts, but when you go down 2-0, there’s a reason to think that.  It’s just tough for everything to sink in at the moment.”

  • Derek Stepan, New York Rangers forward

On his feelings after the loss…

“I am real proud of this group. They did a lot of good things. It’s never fun losing your last game of the series.” 

On the series…

“We had a lot of chances that I think we let slip through our fingers, but it’s a good team over there. Don’t sell them short. They battled real hard, they played real strong games, and they had that magic. Sometimes you’ve got to have a little bit of that.”

  • Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators defenseman

On the series and moving forward …

“It was a hard series.  I think we had to fight every game even though we weren’t playing the way we wanted in the third and fourth game.  But again, it’s never easy and they played a good game and they made it really hard for us so credit to them.  We have a long way to go here.  We’re going to enjoy this for a little bit and again, get back to work as soon as tomorrow.” 

On starting the game with a lead …

“It’s nice.  I felt like that was something that we needed.  We talked about it a lot and again, they were playing terrific in the first and maybe had a few more opportunities.  We took care of the few ones that we got and made it hard for them to get through the neutral zone and create anything really dangerous.  That carried on through the game and we just stuck with it no matter what happened.”

  • Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators goaltender

On tonight’s game …

“It’s our guys.  It was a group effort.  We’re just battling hard.  For me, it’s just another game.  Just keep moving forward, keep your eyes forward, keep looking ahead where you want to go.” 

On how much a goalie can feed off the team in front of him …

“It’s huge.  It elevates your game knowing that these guys are battling and they are paying the price.  In the first period when Bobby (Bobby Ryan) laid down there when Stoner (Mark Stone) laid down there, words can’t express my thoughts through there.  You know your guys are battling and everyone works a little harder for each other when guys do that type of play.”

On advancing to the next round …

“We’ll enjoy the moment but at the end of the day we’ve still got to look forward and push forward and move forward and the job is not finished.”

–        End of Season Availability – TBD; will be announced when the date and time are finalized

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