Final

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Ottawa leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, December 26th
Rangers2Final
Senators6
Game 2: Wednesday, February 8th
Senators1Final
Rangers5
Game 3: Thursday, March 30th
Rangers1Final
Senators4
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18th
Senators5Final
Rangers1

Rangers 1

(41-21-12, 94 pts)

Senators 4

(49-16-7, 105 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 30, 2006

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
NYR 1 0 01
OTT 2 1 14

A. Meszaros (Senators - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

D. Alfredsson (Senators - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

D. Heatley (Senators - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Down three defensemen, Sens still stuff Rangers

OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators found a way to overcome the absence of three top defensemen -- and keep NHL-scoring leader Jaromir Jagr in check.

Ray Emery made 24 saves, and Chris Neil, Patrick Eaves, Dany Heatley and Peter Schaefer scored in Ottawa's 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

The Eastern Conference-leading Senators played without defensive partners Zdeno Chara (hand) and Chris Phillips (knee), and Wade Redden missed the game to travel to Saskatchewan on Thursday to be with his ailing mother.

"I asked a couple of guys if they could meet a challenge and they responded," coach Bryan Murray said. "It was a team hockey game, a team effort. A lot of people did a real fine job. That's what hockey is."

Fedor Tyutin had the lone goal for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves.

Ottawa finished 3-for-9 with the man advantage, while New York was 0-for-6.

"It's tough to take so many penalties," Lundqvist said. "I thought 5-on-5 we played pretty well and got some scoring chances. They just played smart and seemed to wait for our penalties. They have a great power play."

Jagr, who had four assists Wednesday night in a 5-1 road victory over the New York Islanders to break Jean Ratelle's franchise scoring record, assisted on Tyutin's goal to push his NHL-leading scoring total to 114. Jagr also has an NHL-leading 52 goals, tied with Adam Graves for the team record.

In Chara's absence, Andrej Mezsaros was given the challenge of shutting down Jagr.

"This was a big opportunity for me to show the coach I can play 30 minutes if need be," said Meszaros, who played 29:55. "My focus was to keep Jagr in check and not letting him score any goals. I think I had a pretty good game."

Jagr said he rarely pays attention to who is or isn't on the ice and admitted he was feeling under the weather due to a cold.

"When I play games I don't really care. Everyone is replaceable," Jagr said. "I just tried to help the team."

With the loss, the Rangers remained four points ahead of second-place Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division race. The division winner is in position to get the No. 3 seed in the conference and the loser is expected to open against Buffalo in the 4-5 series.

"We worked, we tried things, but collectively we weren't on the same page," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "They really need a break, but I'm not making excuses."<

Neil scored his 16th goal of the season on a two-man advantage early in the first period, and Eaves made it 2-0 with his 16th on another two-man advantage at the 13-minute mark. New York countered less than a minute later on Tyutin's backhander.

Heatley added his 43rd goal of the season on another power play in the second, and Schaefer scored his 19th in the third.

"Special teams are big," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "That's how you're going to win games down the stretch."

Game notes


The Senators also were without RW Martin Havlat (shoulder, out until April 10) C Mike Fisher (ankle, out indefinitely) and G Dominik Hasek (adductor muscle, out indefinitely). Defenseman Brad Norton was recalled from Binghamton ... New York was without LW Martin Rucinsky (broken finger, out four weeks), while LW Marcel Hossa and C Alexandre Giroux were healthy scratches.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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