Overtime is Losing Time for Rangers Again

Rangers blow 2-0 lead and series with Senators is now tied at two.

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The Rangers haven't been behind for one minute of their four games against the Senators.

That's good, but not nearly as good as it sounds, because they now head back to New York with the series tied at two games apiece. Kyle Turris's goal in overtime gave the Sens their second 3-2 overtime win of the series and ended a game that couldn't have started any better for the Rangers.

They scored twice in the first 6:10 of the game with both goals coming on the normally dormant power play after the Senators took a couple of bad penalties to kick off the game. Anton Stralman potted the first one off a rebound and Ryan Callahan followed a Marian Gaborik shot for the second goal in what looked like it was going to be the night the lights went out in the series.

In a strange way, those two goals might have actually backfired for the Rangers because it forced the Senators into desperation mode early in the game. The home team began to carry the play more and more through the end of the first period into the second as the clock ticked away on their season.

The second period was all Ottawa, and Lundqvist eventually cracked. He was beaten once on an odd man rush just after the Senators killed a Rangers power play, and then again when a shot by Sergei Gonchar trickled through his legs after an initial stop.

Ottawa's surge subsided a bit in the third period, but the Rangers didn't quite step up enough to carry the game when the Senators pulled back on the reins. Craig Anderson made some tough saves, but the Rangers never seemed to be in control of the game after Callahan's goal.

Lundqvist needed to make a couple of special stops in the third just to get the game into overtime, and it felt like just a matter of time before Ottawa's relentlessness paid off in the winning goal. It didn't take long as a Rangers turnover sprung a break the other way that Turris paid off with a shot that went through Stralman's legs on its way past Lundqvist.

So now the Rangers come home for a pivotal Game Five in the strange position of being in front or tied for every minute of play in the series and having absolutely nothing to show for it. We saw them elevate their game in Game Three after giving up the lead and the game in New York last Saturday, and we've seen them do it countless times this season, but you have to wonder how many times they can get off the mat with an overwhelming performance.

Things have gotten tense, boys and girls. Playoff hockey is not for the faint of heart.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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