By SIMMI BUTTAR, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — While New York stars Rick Nash and Chris Kreider receive playoff-level attention from Ottawa, Oscar Lindberg and Tanner Glass are providing an unexpected lift for the Rangers.
Lindberg scored two goals, Glass had two assists and the Rangers beat the Senators 4-1 on Thursday night to tie their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
“I think our line has been doing a really good job, getting pucks back from the forecheck,” Lindberg said. “We had two good chances today and we were able to bear down.”
Kreider and Nick Holden also scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist had 22 saves.
Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 17 saves before being replaced by Mike Condon for the third period. Condon finished with nine stops.
“They are a good hockey team. They came out and played their game to a T,” Anderson said. “Had their fans and the momentum. We weren’t able to get anything going.”
Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson also left the game after the second period with an injury. Karlsson played during the first round with two microfractures in one of his feet from blocking a shot late in the regular season.
Coach Guy Boucher said he expects both Anderson and Karlsson to play in Game 5 on Saturday at Ottawa.
“We felt it was better for him to keep him off the ice in the (third) period,” Boucher said of Karlsson. “He could’ve come back, but we just wanted to make sure. He has a lower-body injury.”
Lindberg also scored the Rangers’ final goal in their Game 3 win, with Glass picking up an assist. Glass, a forward who was scratched in the first two games of the series, has brought an edge to the team.
“Look at these assists,” Glass said. “They are not exactly playmaking assists. They are just kind of the gritty, grinding game I bring. Sometimes it ends up in the back of the net.”
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has appreciated the balanced scoring.
“Definitely tonight Oscar’s line came up big for us with a couple of big plays,” Vigneault said. “Tanner is just playing disciplined, smart hockey and that’s what he needs to do.”
The game got physical in the third period as the teams combined for 78 penalty minutes, with the majority of that coming in the final minute.
Lundqvist has stopped 48 of his past 50 shots after allowing six goals in the Senators’ double-overtime win in Game 2. The Rangers have won four consecutive home games this postseason.
“I think it’s the last couple of games,” Lundqvist said. “It’s not a one-man show here. It’s about four lines doing everything right and that’s what you need this time of the year.”
Lindberg scored both of the Rangers’ second-period goals. Glass blocked Ben Harpur’s shot and Michael Grabner grabbed the loose puck and broke in with Lindberg, who scored on a one-timer at 2:01.
Glass also helped set up Lindberg’s next goal. He outworked Senators defenseman Cody Ceci for the puck behind the Ottawa net and sent it to the boards. J.T. Miller grabbed the loose puck and passed to Lindberg at the point for a 3-0 lead at 15:54.
Kreider made it 4-0 with a power-play goal at 10:45 of the third.
Turris scored at 13:34, but the Senators had trouble generating sustained pressure against Lundqvist and were sloppy with the puck at times.
“We’ve got to hit the net,” Boucher said. “Whenever we got chances, we didn’t capitalize.”
For the second consecutive game, the Rangers controlled the first period. In Game 3, they scored the first two goals and outshot Ottawa 15-5. On Thursday, they outshot the Senators 11-7 and opened the scoring again.
Holden led a breakout from the defensive zone and sent a pass to Kevin Hayes at center ice. Hayes passed back to Holden along the left wing and he broke in toward the net and beat Anderson with a wrist shot that went over his right pad at 14:04.
The Rangers have scored the first goal in each game of the series.
“They played well at home for their two games and we played at home for our two games and we’ve got a series,” Boucher said.
NOTES: Through four games, the Rangers have led for 149:56, have been tied for 108:47 and have trailed for 4:11. … Lundqvist earned his 61st playoff win to tie Tom Barrasso for 13th on the NHL’s career list. … Senators Fs Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith returned to the lineup after leaving Game 3 with injuries. D Chris Wideman and F Tom Pyatt both made their debuts in the series. D Fredrik Claesson and F Tommy Wingels were scratched. … Rangers F Pavel Buchnevich was scratched for the second consecutive game and replaced by Glass.
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