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OTTAWA, Ontario – Erik Karlsson scored on a bad-angle shot with 4:11 left in the third period, sending the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the opener of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.
The Senators captain beat fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist from just above the goal line. The shot pinged off Rangers center Derek Stepan before going into the net.
"Just wanted to get the puck in there and hope for a good bounce and got a great bounce," Karlsson said. "Those are always nice to get. And I think that the amount of pucks that we put at the net we deserved one of those."
It was Karlsson's first goal and seventh point of the playoffs. The 26-year-old defenseman, who has been playing with a foot injury, also logged more than 28 minutes in the win.
Game 2 is Saturday.
"I think the players didn't want to get swept in four," Senators coach Guy Boucher said. "We heard from everybody how good they are. It's all you could hear is how much they're going to crush us."
Ryan McDonagh scored for New York, and Lundqvist finished with 41 saves.
Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa, which eliminated Boston in six games in the first round.
The Senators, playing in front of several empty seats, had a chance for a fast start, but went 0 for 3 on the power play during a scoreless first period.
The 35-year-old Lundqvist was terrific, especially early on. He made 21 saves in the first, including a pair of stops on Mark Stone during a flurry around the net on Ottawa's first power play.
Lundqvist had a 1.70 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in the first round against Montreal.
Anderson wasn't tested nearly as much at the other end, but was forced to hang tough when McDonagh walked past a row of Senators during a New York power play and made an attempt on goal that went wide.
The captain of the Rangers made the most of another power-play opportunity in the second, beating Anderson at 7:10 with pesky winger Chris Kreider camped out in front. New York went 1 for 15 with the man advantage in the first round.
Slumping through the first half of the middle period, the Sens grabbed momentum by punishing the Rangers with a series of heavy shifts down low in the offensive zone. The speedy Viktor Stalberg nearly scored when he slipped behind the New York defense at one point, but he was turned away.
Ottawa finally broke through with another power play — on the second of two minor penalties for rookie Brady Skjei.
Lundqvist brushed aside Kyle Turris' shot from the left face-off circle, but the rebound came right to Dzingel and he converted the Sens' 33rd shot.
It was more Lundqvist in the third. He denied Clarke MacArthur on a redirection from the slot, and then turned away Dzingel, who had gotten behind the New York defense. Lundqvist snatched his shot with the glove as the Canadian Tire Centre crowd murmured in frustration.