Senators ‘can’t ask for better’ with shutout win at MSG

AP
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NEW YORK (AP) Despite playing less than 24 hours before, Craig Anderson wanted to be in net when the Ottawa Senators took on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The goalie got his wish and made 33 saves in a 2-0 shutout victory Sunday night. Anderson is 7-1-1 in nine regular-season starts at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s New York man,” Anderson said. “It’s one of those buildings there’s a lot of history. Great team over there and it’s one of those things you just get up for. The historic buildings who knows how long they’ll be around for. You’re fortunate enough to be a part of it and that’s kind of the way I address that mentally.”

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone scored in the second period.

Ottawa improved to 6-3 in the road. It also improved to 3-0 in the second night of back-to-back sets.

“To have to play here back to back on the road and get a team that’s been firing from all cylinders,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said. “One of the best offensive teams in the league and to get a shutout you can’t ask for better.”

Pageau scored 1:54 into the second. Zach Smith worked the puck behind the Rangers’ net to Tom Pyatt, who drew in two defenders and fed Pageau in front of the net for his third goal of the season.

“It was a really nice play by (Smith) and Pyatt nice pass,” Pageau said. “I was just trying to put it on net and that was in our game plan. Go in the blue paint and try to put pucks on net. So that’s what I tried to do.”

The Senators scored again on a power play. Stone fired a wrist shot from inside the faceoff circle for his sixth goal of the season.

Rangers goalie Antti Raanta made 18 saves in his first loss of the season. He was making his first start since Nov. 21 against Pittsburgh.

The Rangers were 8-0-1 at home through their first nine games before going 0-3-1 in their last four games at Madison Square Garden.

New York’s power play struggled against the Senators, going 0 for 4. The Senators were 1 for 3.

“We had a couple power plays with some open nets and when a team is playing that good defensively,” Derek Stepan said. “They didn’t make a single mistake – you have to execute perfectly all the way to your dumps. We just were a little off and they defended extremely well and that’s the story tonight.”

Ottawa forward Derick Brassard played against the Rangers for the first time since he was traded over the summer. New York sent Brassard to Ottawa on July 18 for Mika Zibanejad and a draft pick.

“I’m really thankful for the fans here and for appreciating my work here the last four years,” Brassard said.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.