NEW YORK -- Mission accomplished for the New York Rangers, thanks in large part to some unlikely heroes.
The goal, of course, for the Rangers when back in the Big Apple was to win two games and even up the Eastern Conference semifinal series. And that's exactly what they did, following up a Game 3 win over the Ottawa Senators with another 4-1 victory in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. Game 5 is Saturday at 3 p.m. ET in Ottawa.
Defenseman Nick Holden opened the scoring late in the first period, his first goal of the playoffs. Then fourth-line center Oscar Lindberg struck twice in the second period -- a tidy finish on a sweet pass from Michael Grabner, and then a long-range effort that stunned goaltender Craig Anderson. Lindberg also scored in Game 3.
Anderson was lifted for the third period, giving way to Mike Condon. Star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has been playing through a foot injury, also did not play in the third period.
But the damage had been done. The Rangers outshot the Senators 30-23 and looked like the far superior team. The momentum has definitely swung back in their favor, even despite the scrums that marred the end of the game.