Senators look to create more traffic around Lundqvist in Game 5

Sens offence sputters heading into Game 5

NEW YORK — Wreak havoc.

That was Dion Phaneuf’s solution for the Ottawa Senators’ sputtering offence heading into Game 5 of their playoff series with the New York Rangers.

“We do have to do a better job of creating some more around their net,” the defenceman said Friday before the team headed home to Ottawa for Saturday afternoon’s game.

After winning Games 1 and 2 at home, the Senators dropped the next two at Madison Square Garden, where they were outscored 8-2. With the exception of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has five of Ottawa’s 10 goals in the series, the Senators have struggled to beat star goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Through the first four games, Lundqvist has a .921 save percentage and has stopped 117 of 127 shots. The veteran Swede has yielded just 21 goals on 333 shots through 10 playoff games this season.

“Their goalie has been playing very well,” Phaneuf said. “As he has all year. As he has for his whole career. The biggest thing with him — like other top goalies — you have to get traffic on him. We seem to have been getting chances but we haven’t been getting second chances. That’s when we’re effective around the net is when we get second chances or screened shots (or) tips.”

And it’s not just the forwards who need to step up, Phaneuf said.

“Us as (defencemen) have to do a better job of getting pucks through,” he said. “We’re getting too many pucks blocked. Give them credit, they block a lot of shots. They do a good job of blocking shots. But we have to find a way to get more pucks on him and get some traffic and some rebound goals. Because we’re capable of scoring and we have to do a better job of it.”

Senators coach Guy Boucher pointed to New York’s defensive structure as a reason for the Senators’ lack of offence in Game 4.

“I find they played well defensively,” Boucher said. “They had numbers back the whole night. They respected our speed. They took away our 2-on-1s and breakaways. And so we have to manufacture more offence out of no space. And that’s what the playoffs are: A no-space game.”

By comparison, New York has eight skaters who have scored in the series. Fourth-line centre Oscar Lindberg leads the Rangers with three goals, all coming in the last two games. He is followed by Brady Skjei, Chris Kreider and Michael Grabner, who have scored twice, while Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello and Nick Holden each have a goal.

“We have to have four lines that can play,” Alain Vigneault said after Game 4. “If you expect to win you’re going to need contributions from your whole team.”

The status of Senators captain Erik Karlsson is a concern after he sat out the third period of Thursday’s 4-1 loss. The all-star defenceman, who is playing with two hairline fractures in his left heel, fell awkwardly late in the second period.

Boucher suggested Karlsson would be back Saturday and confirmed that goaltender Craig Anderson would return to the net after he was yanked Thursday.

Like Phaneuf, Boucher wants to see more chaos around Lundqvist.

“It is tough to get those pucks to the net,” said Boucher. “Much tougher than, I think, any opponent we’ve had all year in terms of getting pucks to the net because they’re all very dedicated and very good technically at blocking shots. That’s definitely, I would say, our biggest obstacle.”

Denis P. Gorman, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Annual Heritage Day celebration highlights Terrace history, culture

Over 30 vendors displayed various vintage and historic items from the city’s past on Feb.17 in the Sportsplex Banquet Room.

Terrace River Kings win playoffs

Defeating Williams Lake Stampeders, the team now heads to the Coy Cup for the fourth year in a row

First annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk to honor missing and murdered Indigenous people held in Terrace

Mayor Carol Leclerc and RCMP Cst. Angela Rabut joined members of the Radek family and walkers on Feb. 14 from the Chill Soda Shop on Highway 16 to the Tempo Gas Station.

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Most Read