Sunday, December 18, 2011

Richards Goal wins it at 19:59:9 of the Third Period.

0:1 seconds to go.

Not a lot of time. One tenth of one second. But really less than that.

Brad Richards came storming onto the ice with 20 seconds remaining – and in his own words he “tried to make something happen.”

Well – guess what? He did. With about a second left on the clock he launched a nasty backhander at the net from deep on the left side. Did the shot head toward the Coyote net?

Not exactly. It was headed for Kieth Yandle’s right leg. And it hit Yandle – and deflected right toward goalie Mike Smith and the Coyote net.
The next thing anybody knew – the buzzer sounded – ending the third period. Was it overtime?
Well – the puck was in the net.

But - The referee blew his whistle and uncrossed his arms – indicating that time had expired before the Ranger shot crossed the goal line.

Was it overtime?

Well - the goal judge took another look at the replay. A long look.

Meanwhile – we started seeing the replays on our TV. And guess what – the puck gets to the goalline at 0.1 seconds. It started crossing the line at 0.21 seconds. And them – miraculously – it crosses the line just as 0.1 becomes 0.0.

The goal judge’s verdict:

Was it overtime?

No. Goal. Ranger goal. Ranger goal with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. Less really – probably 0.01 seconds. But that was enough.

Score the goal – credit Richards – and end the hockey game with a come-from-behind 3-2 thrilling Ranger win – breaking a 2 game losing streak and notching yet another win for backup netminder Martin Biron.

But making the win possible was a pair of goals from Marian Gaborik – the 299th and 300th of his career.

The first was on the powerplay- and came off a perfect thread-the-needle pass from the resurgent Michael Del Zotto. Delzy turned a cluster at the blue line into a off man rush for The Gifetd One – who buries the puck in the upper left hand side of the net.

And that one goal was all the Rangers had until early in the third, when trailing 2-1 Marian Gaborik again came up huge – stealing the puck from Goalie Mike Smith and slamming it in to tie the score at 2 all.

Besides Del; Zotto - there were also assists for Callahan, McDonaugh, and Stepan. Giradi registered 6 hits, with 5 for Boyle and another 4 for Prust.

While the Rangers outshot Phoenix 30 to 23, they were outhit 35 to 29 and lost 40 of 59 face offs. Our powerplay went 1 for 6 and let up a shorty. Our PK unit filed on 1 of just 2 Coyote attempts.

In the end Biron outdueled Smith with a .913 save oercentage to .900 for the Coyote netmionder.

The game featured Mike Rupp’s return to the lineup after injury. The Punch sepcialst had 2 shots on goal, 2 hits, and 2 penalty minutes.

Our beloved Sean Avery was a healthy scratch – making this win somewhat bittersweet.

Still – nice to get a win after those 2 loses. Especially when we only had to protect that lead for less than 0.1 seconds.

Thrilling win. One we needed. And one we’ll take.

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