Saturday, April 10, 2010

Alive! Rangers Win! Tie Flyers for 8th and final playoff spot

I am so proud of those guys. Our New York Rangers played their hearts out last night - fought back to tie - forged ahead to a two goal lead - lost it on a crazy bounce - regained the lead and held on to defeat the hated Philadelphia Flyers 4-3

A rare terrible turnover by Staal led to a Flyers 1-0 lead just 40 seconds in and cast a dark cloud over our heros.

But the Rangers refused to fold - fought off a penalty kill just one minute in and then - struck back. First Captain Clutch (Chris Drury) scored one of his trademark 3 footers to knot the game at 1. Then Jody Shelley scored his first ever goal as a Ranger from in front - off a face off and a Flyer defensive lapse. And the first period ended 2-1 Rangers.

In the 2nd, the Rangers took a 3-1 lead on Gaborik's finest assist of the season. He took the puck all the way in on Boucher - but then did a daring - stunning - drop pass right near the right side of the crease. Gabs continued behind the net without the puck - drawing the Flyer defenseman and the Goalie's attention. With Dubinsky trailing - all Brandon had to do was slam the puck into the unguarded right corner of the Flyer's goal.

But the Rangers could not hold the 3-1 lead. The Broad street Bullies fought back to tie. The third Flyer goal was a very unlucky bounce for us - Lundqvist made the initial save - but the puck hit a Ranger skate and bounced right back in the net for a 3-3 tie.

But Marian Gaborik rose to the occasion. He stole the puck on the forecheck, skated in on Boucher - and roofed a crazy side angle shot for the 4-3 lead.

Then came the third period and it was King time. Lundqvist stopped everything the Flyers threw at him. Jody Shelley nearly had a 2nd goal - but Boucher - after skating out of the crease - passing the puck through the crease - accidentally hitting the outside post and sending the puck directly to an unguarded Shelley - managed to dive back across the net to make the desperate save.

And Hank kept stopping Flyer shots. And stopping them. In the end he made a total of 24 saves - many of them spectacular - and the Rangers won - in regulation 4-3.

And so we rest today and get ready for the winner-take-all Sunday showdown. The Rangers have come all the way back and have tied the Flyers in points. The Flyers hold the tie breaker - but that's meaningless now. The Sunday winner makes the playoffs.

The Rangers have gone 8-1-1 to shock the world and get to the brink of the 8th seed. All they have to do is win one more.

It's like the play-in game in the NCAA basketball tournament. The impossible dream is in front of us now - just beat the collapsing Flyers one more time - one more and we're in.

Let's Go Rangers!

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