Bobby Ryan scored the winner in the Ottawa Senators' 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers – and he helped a local family get a new pet in the process.
Ryan, who gave Ottawa the only offence it needed 19:40 into the second period, noticed a sign held by a young boy during warm-up that read: "Bobby, dad said if you score we get a puppy."
"I felt more pressure with that than after saying what I said last game," said Ryan. "I wanted to get the poor kid a dog."
Ryan called out the Senators' poor play following their 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils Friday night. He was happy to see his team turn things around Sunday.
"We stuck with it for 60 minutes," he said. "I thought we played well. I thought we controlled a good portion of the game.
"When you put yourself out there and you make the comments, they're going to echo throughout the room and who am I to say it and ask these young guys to do it if I'm not doing it? So I felt like I did what I said I was going to do and I thought everybody followed along."
Craig Anderson stopped 35 shots to pick up his 32nd career shutout and third of the season.
Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for Ottawa (23-20-6), who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves for the Rangers (26-17-5).
Aside from his goaltender Rangers coach Alain Vigneault could find few positives from his team's performance.
"We were on the outside the whole night and just didn't have a good game at all," he said.
The 18,940 on hand at Canadian Tire Centre were treated to a goaltending duel for much of the afternoon.
Both Anderson and Lundqvist made a number of big saves to keep the game scoreless.
"We came out from the start to the finish," said Anderson. "We played with intensity and played with purpose.
"It was definitely a good game and something to build on."
Leading 1-0 early in the third, the Senators got a little breathing room as Hoffman scored his team-leading 22nd to make it 2-0.
Hoffman used Ryan as a decoy on a 2-on-1 and beat Lundqvist glove side.
Pageau made it 3-0 with a short-handed empty-net goal with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. It was Pageau's 11th of the season, setting a new career high for the 23-year-old.
It wasn't until the dying seconds of the second period that the Senators were able to solve Lundqvist.
Jared Cowen's shot from inside the blueline hit the post and Ryan got his stick on the rebound to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead. Ryan, with his 17th of the season, is one goal shy of tying his season total from last year.
The family said it will name the new puppy Bobby in Ryan's honour.
"It was definitely tough to give it up that late," said Lundqvist. "Sometimes you come out in the third and maybe try too much, but we had been in that spot before and we still had good energy in here and thought we could turn it around."
New York's Kevin Hayes had a good opportunity to open the scoring early in the second, but he missed a wide-open net.
This was the third and final meeting between the two teams with the Senators going 1-1-1.