Rangers 4 Senators 1
NEW YORK — The Rangers stared at the abyss, and skated away.
Only four times in NHL history have teams rebounded from 3-0 deficits in a Stanley Cup playoff series.
The Maple Leafs in 1942. The Islanders in 1975. The Flyers in 2010. The Kings in 2014.
And after dropping the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinal to the Senators in Ottawa, the Blueshirts wanted no chance to attempt to be No. 5.
On Tuesday, back at home, the Rangers to a man were consistently quick and forceful in Game 3, and decked the Senators, 4-1, to climb back into the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, and Game 5 returns to Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday afternoon.
The Rangers, on the puck in every zone, built a 2-0 lead after one period and the nagging question was: Could they hold the lead against the Senators, who came back three separate times after trailing by two goals in the 6-5 overtime win in Game 2?
Question answered: There was no letdown. With just under two minutes left in the second period, it was 4-0.
In a dominant first period, Mats Zuccarello set the tone early, taking a pass from behind the net from Mika Zibanejad and beating Craig Anderson low at 5:31. Michael Grabner, set up by Zuccarello made it 2-0 at 13:24. Henrik Lundqvist was barely tested, facing only five shots in the first 20 minutes.
The Rangers peppered Anderson with 15, and missed a few other opportunities.
The Senators pushed back in the second, and Lundqvist held his ground, but the Senators just didn’t seem to have enough.
Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone collided in the neutral zone, triggering a two-on-one. Derek Stepan fed Rick Nash in the left circle, and Anderson could get only a piece of Nash’s wrister with his left arm, creating a three-goal lead at 12:21.
Oscar Lindberg, on a reconstituted fourth line with J.T. Miller and Tanner Glass, scored his first postseason goal when Miller circled with the puck and drove the net until he saw Lindberg alone at the right post, and backhanded a pass to him for the fourth goal at 18:17.