OTTAWA (AP) — Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome each had a goal and an assist and Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots and the New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Sunday.
Tim Stutzle scored for Ottawa while Filip Gustavsson made 31 saves as he made his first NHL start since Dec. 7.
Despite being allowed to have 50 percent capacity back in Canadian Tire Centre, the Senators were far from the halfway mark on this day with an announced crowd of 5,181.
The Senators were playing the second half of a back-to-back, while the Rangers hadn’t played since Thursday.
Trailing 2-1 to start the third, the Senators looked for the equalizer and had a good chance with a power play midway through the period, but were unable to beat Shesterkin who earned his 50th career NHL victory.
The Rangers had a late power play in the third to seal the victory, but Gustvasson was solid to keep the Senators within reach.
With just over a minute left in regulation Shesterkin nearly sealed the game with an empty-net goal, but the puck went just wide.
The Rangers outshot the Senators 15-7 in the second and took a 2-1 lead as Panarin scored a power-play goal midway through the period.
The Senators failed to generate much through the first 15 minutes of the second, but finally showed some life in the closing minutes of the period, but couldn’t tie the game.
A balanced first period saw the teams exchange goals.
Stutzle opened the scoring at 4:52 as he took advantage of a Rangers turnover and wristed a shot past Shesterkin.
At 7:27, Braden Schneider fired a shot from the point and while it didn’t get through, Strome was able to pick it up and beat Gustavsson for his 10th of the season.
NOTES: New York improved to 14-2-1 against Atlantic Division opponents and 20-5-1 against teams in the Eastern Conference. … Panarin had his 17th multi-point game of the season and seventh in his past 12 games.
Rangers: host Washington on Thursday.
Senators: host Minnesota on Tuesday.
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