The Ottawa Senators are going back to Broadway.
The Senators couldn't close the door and pull off the upset against the first-place New York Rangers after a 3-2 loss at home and this series will head for a Game 7 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
With the victory in front 20,500 screaming fans, the Rangers tied the series and survived a late push from the Senators. Even though the game was close, coach Paul MacLean was thoroughly unimpressed with the effort.
"I didn't think we played well or consistently throughout the game until the last six minutes when we tried desperately to get the thing tied up," said MacLean.
"I'd like to see us play harder. I thought we played too much in our own, didn't establish enough play in their end and when we did finally get the puck in our end, we were trying to go on offence but we were tired. Their play in our offensive zone was a big difference and led to us not being able to skate the way that we'd like to skate."
The Senators didn't look right. They looked disjointed. Only winger Chris Neil was able to beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist by tipping home a shot by Sergei Gonchar in the first. That stood until Jason Spezza brought Ottawa within a goal late.
MacLean was so unhappy during a power play, he sat down all of his top players in the third and that left the Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson fuming. The cameras caught him smashing his stick and beating up a water bottle on the bench.
"We didn't start on the power play, I can understand that because we weren't very good, but we weren't on the ice and then we take a penalty so we didn't get on for a while after that. It was a little frustrating and I probably should have handled myself better," said Alfredsson.
Spezza scored at 19:21 of the third but he saw barely any time with Ottawa down by two goals in the final frame.
"He's not injured," said MacLean.
The Senators also felt they got jobbed by the officials. Winger Nick Foligno was given a goalie interference call in the second period that allowed the Rangers to get a 5-on-3. That's when Brad Richards gave the club the lead.
"I was really disappointed in that call. I thought that changed the game and I thought that gave them momentum," said a fuming Foligno. "I'm getting pushed in and I don't know what else they want me to do there.
"It's part of the game. We're going to come ready for Game 7. We're going to approach it and be ready to win. That's the only thing we can really do."
The Rangers finally brought their game.
"We played well. We played really well," said Lundqvist, who made 25 saves. "I think it was important that we stayed confident after the first period. After we got the first goal, I felt like we got a lot of confidence and started building our game."
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