The Ottawa Senators made a third-period charge, and they even scored a controversial goal in the final minute to cut the New York Rangers' lead to 3-2. But in the end they couldn't complete the comeback, and the top-seeded Blueshirts forced a Game 7 with the victory by that same score. Chris Kreider's second-period goal, his first in the NHL, turned out to be the game-winner.
Poor officiating turned into the story of Game 6, with weak calls from officials Tim Peel and Steve Kozari going both ways. One of them, a weak goalie interference call against Ottawa's Nick Foligno in the second period, turned into a Rangers power play goal and gave New York full control of the game.
Ottawa certainly sat back with a 1-0 lead in the middle period, however. The Sens seemed to be lulling the Rangers to sleep and the Rangers deserve full marks for taking advantage. Henrik Lundqvist played his part in shutting down Ottawa in the third period, making 13 saves in the final 20 minutes to add to his game total of 25.
"It is important to note that Alfredsson suffered an injury on this play," Shanahan said. That's been the standard to which they've decided suspensions in these playoffs, and it's likely why Hagelin will miss time. Alfredsson's status is unknown for Game 3 at Scotiabank Place on Monday.
Hagelin's a vital player for the Rangers, and his absence from the lineup wil no doubt hurt their chances now that the series moves to Ottawa tied at a game apiece. Of course, you won't hear much remorse from Senators fans, who lost their captain as a result of this hit. New York could opt to put rookie Chris Kreider in the lineup for his NHL debut to replace Hagelin.
Chris Neil was the unlikely hero for the Ottawa Senators in overtime as he picked up a loose puck in front of the net and threw a backhanded shot past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The goal gave the Sens a 3-2 victory in Game 2 and leveled the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the clubs at one game apiece.
It was a brutally physical affair highlighted by two awful penalties. Shortly after the opening draw, Senators tough guy Matt Carkner was kicked out of the game for sucker punching Rangers forward Brian Boyle in the face. Boyle remained in the game and even scored a goal, but Brandon Dubinsky, an important centerman in coach John Tortorella's arsenal, was kicked out of the game as part of the Carkner incident.
In the third period, the Sens lost captain Daniel Alfredsson after Carl Hagelin delivered a dirty elbow to his head. He did not return to the game and his status is unknown for Game 3 and beyond.
Callahan opened the scoring 12:01 into the first period when he corralled a rebound off a shot from the point, sliding the puck just between the goalpost and the left skate of Senators goalie Craig Anderson. Anton Stralman and Artem Anisimov received assists on the goal.
New York extended their lead late in the second period when Gaborik picked up a loose puck and slipped through Anderson's five hole with 3:36 remaining. That was followed by a snap shot by Brian Boyle in the final minute of the period that gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead entering the final twenty minutes.
Early in the third period, Carl Hagelin forced a turnover on the forecheck and fed Brad Richards to give the Blueshirts a 4-0 lead with 17:45 to play. The Senators would add a pair of goals late, with Daniel Alfredsson tipping in a point shot to break Lundqvist's shutout and Erik Condra scoring on a wrist shot with 2:19 to play.
Aside from the scoreboard and control of the action, Game 1 could not have been more even on the stat sheet. The Senators out-shot the Rangers 32-to-31, hits were even at 37 apiece and Ottawa held a 35-to-32 edge in the face-off circle.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.