Well, that was pretty bad. The Rangers continued their woeful performance in even-numbered series games - getting blown out 4-1 in Newark by the Devils.
The team scoring the first goal has won the last 12 Ranger games - and when Salvador's shot from the left point went through 6 different screening players on it's way to finding a tiny gap in the King's legs for 1-0 Devils lead, you had the feeling - 4 minutes in - that this one was over.
Still - we have a nice piece of good news:
Mike Rupp punched Marty Brodeur. I repeat: Mike Rupp punched Marty Brodeur.
In his crease. During the game. And Brodeur - acting or for-real - was rocked by the blow. Best of all - Rupp is a former teammate of Matry's - with his name on the Cup as a Devil.
"You don't like to see that," Devil's coach DeBoer said of the incident - a statement Dave Pucks disagrees with 100 percent. I did like seeing that - it was the rest of the game that I was unhappy with.
The Devil's coach and John Tortorella got into another bench-to-bench screaming match to add to the festive playoff atmosphere. I can easily see Torts and DeBoer dropping the gloves before this is over (not that they wear gloves - but you know what I mean).
Other Ranger high points were few and far between. We didn't let up a goal in the 2nd. And we broke up the fat man's shutout late in the third.
Fedotenko slipped one past the old man at 14:55 - assisted by Delzy and Richards. Too little and too late - but at least the only shutouts in this series still belong to Hank - who stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced for a .896 save percentage.
So now - the Rangers - who have only won 2 or 3 periods so far in this series - have to win a best-of-three game series. With two at home.
Taking a step back - we needed the split in Jersey and we got it. We just need to win game 5 and everything tilts way back in our favor.
Let's go Rangers.
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