Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rangers Tie for Playoff Spot - beat Panthers 4-1

No matter how this all turns out – our New York Rangers have really shown us something these past 2 weeks. After losing to Boston – after tumbling to 10th place – 5 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot – the Rangers have refused to quit. They've fought and clawed their way back up the mountain. They've kept overcoming deficits and kept getting points. In their last 6 games they have won 11 of a possible 12 points and – as of this morning they sit in a virtual tie with the collapsing Flyers for 8th place in the Eastern conference.

After blowing out the Tampa Bay Lighting 5-0 on Friday – our heroes had to play the next night agaist the Florida Panthers. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead into the third period. But the Rangers, instead of running out of gas, rose up – struck back - pulled even – pulled ahead and won 4-1. It was nothing short of magnificent.

And so – our Rangers – missing three injured players off their top 4 lines: Avery, Callahan, and Boyle have climbed all the way back into the playoff race. With 4 games to go they have tied the 8th place Flyers in points – and trial 7th place Boston by 2 and 6th place Montreal by 4. Atlanta sits one point behind – but has just 3 games to play – against Pittsburgh, Washington, and New Jersey and so are unlikely to catch us. So it will come down to us and Flyers – a team we face head to head for the final two games.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves – here's how we did it last night:

The Goalies: Why exactly did we acquire the backup goaltender Auld? Tortorella went with Henrik Lundqvist in both ends of a 2-games-in-2-days marathon – for the 2nd time in two weeks. And it paid off. Hank was nearly perfect – stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced (.950 save percentage). Florida's Clemmensen stopped 23 of 26 (.885%). And to top it all off – Hank had an assist in the crucial tying goal.

Special Teams: We were 0-1 on the PP – but killed off all 4 of the Panther man advantages. A huge advantage for the Blueshirts.

New Veteran Rangers: Marian Gaborik was +3 on the night with the empty net goal and an assist. Shelly had an assist as well. 4 hits for Olli Jokinen.

Our Returning Rangers: The Captain Drury is re-learning what he does best – go to the net and slam home those three footers. And Marc Staal turned the entire game around by taking the puck from behind his own net – going end to end anmd scoring the game tying goal just 18 seconds into the third period. Aaron Voros had an assist and a fist fight.

The Kid Rangers? Prust never sleeps! He never stopped working and scored a goal and 2 hits. Del Zotto did some great work keeping the puck in then offensive zone and was rewarded with an assist.

Offense on Defense: A goal and assist for the backliners.

In Conclusion: How about those Rangers? Every time you think their season is over they have fought back. And they've played their best hockey just when they needed it most. Now they just have to keep doing it.
Next Up:
A tough one. The Sabres in Buffalo on Tuesday night.

Where We Stand
In control of our own destiny once again. Tied for 8th with the Flyers.

Scoreboard: On Sunday the big game to watch is the Red Wings at Philadelphia. A Flyers loss here helps us immensely.

No comments:

Post a Comment