OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Craig Anderson is normally not one to show his emotions, but you could hardly blame the Ottawa Senators goaltender for wanting to celebrate.
Anderson raised his arms and pumped his fists after stopping 27 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers 3-0 on Thursday night.
It was Anderson’s 10th win this season, his first shutout since Dec. 16 and the 41st clean sheet of his career.
“It’s been a while for me,” Anderson said. “Sometimes when you’ve given up a lot of goals and you get caught up in the whole statistic of things and you try not to as best you can, but tonight was one of those nights where everything kind of came together and it’s just my emotions towards the guys.”
This marked just the third time this season that the Senators held an opponent to 30 shots or fewer.
“That’s a great effort by everyone,” an animated Anderson said. “I thought the guys’ attention to detail was outstanding. We generated plenty of scoring chances, made some pretty plays in the offensive zone and defensively we were paying the price doing the little things, making the right plays, making the right reads.”
Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist. Drake Batherson and Magnus Paajarvi also scored as the Senators won their second consecutive game.
“It was a total team commitment from beginning to end,” coach Guy Boucher said. “Even at the end you could see guys blocking shots with 30 seconds left. That’s what we’re going towards.”
Henrik Lundqvist had a rough start but finished with 31 saves for New York.
He gave the Senators full credit, saying: “They deserved the win.” But he also said the Rangers need to be better on the road after dropping to 3-7-2 away from home.
“I feel like it’s not just one game, it’s starting to become a road thing,” Lundqvist acknowledged. “It’s something we need to adjust and correct real quick.”
Rangers coach David Quinn thought his team got worse rather than better as the game went on after falling behind 2-0 in the first period.
“During the course of a game there’s going to be stretches where you don’t play well,” Quinn said. “You hope to make them better. You hope to stop them and recover, be mentally tough enough to get your wits about you and regroup and we just never did it. We just got worse and worse and worse as the game went on.”
Boucher credited his often-overlooked fourth line of Paajarvi, Zack Smith and Tom Pyatt for doing an outstanding job against New York’s top line of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome.
“They were great defensively, but also really good offensively,” Boucher said. “Their line set the tone for everything and really did a great job against the opponent’s top line and that’s the difference.”
Trailing 2-0, the Rangers thought they had cut the Senators’ lead in half near the midpoint of the second period but the goal was waved off because the referee had blown the whistle prior to the puck crossing the goal line.
With the Senators dominating most of the action, Colin White nearly made it 3-0 when he rang a shot off the post.
Ottawa did go ahead 3-0 late in the second after an impressive passing display that ended with Duchene scoring his team-leading 12th. Duchene has eight goals and 14 assists in his last 12 games.
The Senators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Batherson scored his third of the season 2:06 in off a great pass from Duchene. Paajarvi made it 2-0 at 14:35 with his second of the season and first point in 11 games as he slipped a shot under Lundqvist’s right arm.
NOTES: With an assist on Duchene’s goal, Ryan Dzingel picked up his 100th career point. … Max McCormick was a healthy scratch for the Senators.
Rangers: Play at Montreal on Saturday night.
Senators: Host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, marking the return of former Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson.
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