Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rangers Score! Rangers take 3rd period lead! Rangers lose.

Well, we scored. After more than 156 minutes we scored a goal - Anisimov did - and we tied the world champion Penguins 1-1 in the 2nd period. And then, in the 10th minute of the third period - the rookie Anisimov struck again - and the Rangers had two goals and (gasp) a third period lead to protect.

We protected it for all of 31 seconds. But then, with Gaborik in the penalty box for slashing, Malkin, who had never scored a regular-season goal at Madison Square Garden before, launched a shot at Lundqvist. Chris Drury came sliding across to try and block it (he leads the league in blocked shots). But he didn't get all of it. Instead the puck deflected off Drury and snuck past Lundqvist for the tying goal.

And a minute later - Chris Conner - who had just been called up from the AHL - put the Penguins ahead to stay. An empty netter completed the crushing 4-2 loss.

At least we weren't shut out. But man - a win - or a point - would have meant so much to the floundering Rangers right now. Here are the grim details:

The Goalies: Hank stopped 24 of 27 shots (the last one was an empty netter). His save percentage was just .889. Fleury stopped 28 of 30 shots for a .933 save percentage. And that was the difference. But Hank faced more quality shots - including 4 breakaways.

Special Teams: Outplayed. We were 0-4 on the powerplay and Pittsburgh was 1-2. Against a team like Pittsburgh - that's usually enough to cost us the game.

The New Veteran Rangers were held scoreless - Gaborik kept off the board again. Lisin and Higgins had assists, though.

Your Returning Rangers produced one assist from the back line - from Girardi.

The Kid Rangers - specifically Artem Anisimov - were the whole show last night from the Ranger side. After a 17 game drought - "Anis" scored both Ranger goals last night. Artem played well - but where was everyone else?

Defense on Offense? One assist. But just 4 shots and no goals.

In conclusion: it's pretty bad right now. But we scored and we hung with a very good team for a long time. But we need points - not good tries.

I would start Chad Johnson Wednesday. Give Lundqvist the chance to recharge a little.
Where we stand:
we're not standing really. We're hanging on to the 8th and final playoff seed in the East with 5 other teams within 3 points of us.
Next Up: we get two things we need: (1) a day off and (2) the last place Carolina Hurricanes as out Wednesday opponent.

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