King Henrik rules the Sens
Three times they chanted Daniel Alfredsson’s name Monday night at Scotiabank Place.
Twice, they could have used him.
While there was hope the Senators captain would be able to return from the concussion he suffered in Game 2, it was Henrik Lundqvist and series villain Brian Boyle who gave Ottawa players a huge headache in Game 2.
Lundqvist made 39 stops for the shutout and Boyle scored the third-period winner for the Rangers, as the Senators fell behind 2-1 in the first-round series with a 1-0 loss in front of a raucous crowd of 20,123.
Winger Nick Foligno said the Senators wanted to prove they could win without Alfredsson.
“He’s our captain, he’s our leader and he’s a guy that’s put in a lot of points for us offensively and plays a lot of minutes. We wanted to dig down and find a way to get a win without him,” said Foligno.
“It’s unfortunate he’s not in the lineup, given the circumstances, but I thought we played pretty well without him. Guys were in situations they’re probably not used to playing and I thought they did a pretty good job.”
Though goalie Craig Anderson did his part with 22 saves — many of them big — the Senators were shut out by Lundqvist and now face a must-win in Game 4 Wednesday night to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination before the series returns to the Big Apple.
Kyle Turris was robbed on the doorstep in the dying seconds.
“I’ve got to score on those,” said Turris. “I had an opportunity to tie it up and send it to OT. I missed the net (Monday), I won’t miss the net the next time.”
Playing their first playoff home game since 2010, the Senators were hopeful they’d have Alfredsson after he was elbowed by Carl Hagelin Saturday. He skated in the morning, but wasn’t able to shake off the effects of his concussion.
But early in the evening, Alfredsson had been ruled out of the game. It’s only the fifth time in club history he hasn’t suited up for a playoff game, but that didn’t halt the fans from chanting No. 11’s name at the 11-minute mark.
The Senators played a gutsy game, but they missed their captain.
Monday night, with the extracurriculars put aside, Boyle finally broke this scoreless tie with 12:25 left in the third. He beat Anderson on the stick side with a backhander.
That came just after Ottawa had a slew of chances, especially winger Colin Greening, but couldn’t beat Lundqvist. It appeared the puck took a lucky bounce in front and Boyle was just there to pounce on it.
Senators coach Paul MacLean said they have to find an answer for Boyle.
“He’s scored in every game so we’ve got to make sure we pay attention to him,” said MacLean. “He’s a big, strong guy. He went to the net and got himself a goal. That’s the way he’s been doing it.”
The game turned into an end-to-end battle in the second period with Anderson and Lundqvist both making big stops.