It wasn't the Sens best performance, but they got what they came to New York for, a split, winning tonight's game 3-2 in OT thanks to a hard working goal from longtime Sen Chris Neil just 1:17 into the extra frame. The victory that tied the series at one game a piece wasn't without negatives though, as Daniel Alfredsson left the game in the 2nd period and didn't return after a dirty elbow to the head from Carl Hagelin. Nothing else about his status is known as of yet but I would imagine game 3 isn't likely for the NHL's longest serving captain.
The game itself was a bloody, brutal affair. The hits and fights were often and the players on both sides have to be sore after this one. It's been the roughest series by a huge margin so far in the playoffs. Matt Carkner and Brandon Dubinsky were both ejected from the game in the first period and they roughness continued all game. In post match commentary both Brad Richards and Jason Spezza said they expected the physical play to get worse before it gets better as well. So it may be a series of who can endure the pain the most.
For the 2nd straight game, we didn't bring our best performance but we did get the W and that's what matters in the end. We head back to Ottawa with a split knowing if we play better we can take this series. Not bad for an 8th seed who was supposed to be awful this year. Game 3 will be critical on Monday. I can't wait.
Other thoughts from the game:
- Anderson was shaky at times but somehow managed the games 2nd star. He had his moments but I still think he could improve his play a lot and will have to if we want to take the series. He's gonna have to steal a game.
- The reffing was horrible, on both sides. Just horrible in general. It's been really bad this season.
- I thought Karlsson really picked it up the 2nd half of the game once Alfie went out.
- Spezza has gone back to 2005 Spezza. Through 2 games he's been horrible.
- Colin Greening also needs to step it up.
- Thought Turris had a solid game. Not sure how they missed that cross check to his spine though.
- Excellent hard working goal by Nick Foligno. Don't know how they missed that Staal high stick to his grill with the ref right there either.
- Karlsson played more than 30 minutes tonight to lead the team.
- I liked Konopka's fiesty game tonight
- The Rangers had 25 blocked shots to our 10.
- Each team had 30 hits, very physical game
- Awesome atmosphere at MSG I have to admit.
With the overtime winning goal + a fight, Chris Neil wins the night