OTTAWA — Kyle Turris had a good feeling about the Senators after Game 4 despite the minor details of his team having lost in a rout, and having personally gotten the worst of a fight with Tanner Glass and having been criticized for starting a scuffle with the Rangers’ tough guy. He believed, and still does, that he and his team were making a point.
“I think everybody wanted to send the message that we were going to push back. They can have a guy like Glass running around all he wants, but we’re physically not going to back down. We played like that tonight and we’re going to continue to,” he said Saturday after scoring the overtime goal that gave the Senators a 5-4 win and a 3-2 lead in the series.
Left unsaid was that the message might have been sent not to the Rangers but to himself and his team. Turris, whose role is to score goals and assist on them, played with an unusual edge, leading the Senators with nine hits.
“That was the horse tonight,” coach Guy Boucher said of Turris, noting that it was Kentucky Derby day.
Scrums at the end of one-sided games, such as the Rangers’ 4-1 triumph Thursday night, generally do not have much of an impact on the remainder of the series. Turris, however, thought the extracurriculars made a difference this time. He believed that Glass had taken liberties with Ottawa players in Game 4, leading to Boucher’s decision to dress enforcer Chris Neil. Despite the fact that Neil negated a power play and earned a 10-minute misconduct for attacking Glass, Turris thought Neil was a presence.
“He might have been our most important player,” Turris said.
At 6:28 of overtime, though, no one in Canadian Tire Centre was more important than the center who gathered his own rebound, shot again and beat Henrik Lundqvist.
“He blocked it and luckily it kind of bounced back to me. I was able to step around and just got a quick shot off,” Turris said. “I kind of tried going five- hole but I fanned on it a little bit. I just got enough.”
That was enough to make him plus-2 for the game after having been a discouraging minus-4 previously in the playoffs. “Obviously, everybody wants to contribute offensively,” he said. “The playoffs is just the best time of the year. The regular season is great, but there’s no comparison to the playoffs. The compete level, the battle level are so high.’’
No one should expect him to lead the Senators in body checks every night, but don’t be surprised if he keeps trying to be a hitter in Game 6 at the Garden on Tuesday night.
“We need to be fast, we need to play with speed, intensity,” he said, “and we have to push back.”