Derek Stepan shines as Rangers crush Senators

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Derek Stepan scored and issued two assists to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Saturday at Canadian Tire Centre.

Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello also scored while Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the Rangers (26-21-3), who won five of their last six games and are 10-3-1 in their past 14 outings.

Marc Methot scored and Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for Ottawa (21-19-9), which lost in regulation for the first time since Dec. 27. The Senators were 6-0-2 in their previous eight games since a 5-0 road loss to the Boston Bruins.

Methot drove a slap shot past Talbot from the left side to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead at 3:37 of the first period, the defenseman’s fourth goal of the season.

Richards tied the count at at 9:50 with his 13th goal on a 5-on-3 advantage before Nash scored his 12th goal at 12:45 of the second period to put the Rangers up 2-1.

Stepan made it 3-1 when he took advantage of a turnover by Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson. He scored his first goal in 14 games when he snapped a shot past Anderson after he pounced on a blind backhand pass from behind the net by Karlsson.

Zuccarello scored his 13th goal to increase the lead to three, unassisted with 3:10 to go in the third.

New York, which made its sole road appearance in the midst of playing seven of eight games at Madison Square Garden, begins a three-game homestand Sunday against the Washington Capitals. Ottawa begins a four-game road trip Tuesday in Washington.

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