Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rangers Come From Behind for 3rd Straight game - Beat Tampa 4-2

December 3rd, Tampa Florida – stunning.

The New York Rangers have won their 5th straight and 12th of their last 14. And for the 3rd consecutive game they have done it the hard way:

For the 3rd straight game they have surrendered an early goal to fall behind. They were all of 84 seconds in when a 54 foot slapshot somehow eluded a screened Henrik Lundqvist to give Tampa Bay a lighting-quick 1-0 lead. It was the longest goal against Hank in quite some time and our superstar Swede was visibly furious. But after that King Henrik settled all the way down finished with 24 stops and a .923 save percentage. That's good enough to win most nights - and it was tonight, out-dueling a .914 save percentage by Garon. Hank's finest moment came late in the first when he stopped Pyatt”s wrap around with the left sake and then – almost instantly got his right skate over to rob Thompson on the doorstep

For the 3rd straight game they have let up a late period goal – this one with 2:18 left in the 2nd period to fall behind 2-1. These are supposed to be back-breaking goals – but the Rangers just keep fighting back.

Stat City: The Rangers out hit Tampa 26-13. They won more faceoffs at 34-29. And they outshot their opponent 36-26.

Alumni Night: was in full swing as Coach Tortorella, who won a Stanley cup with the Lightning came out the winner – helped in large part by ex-Lightning Cup winner Fedotenko who scored the Ranger's first goal – a point blank dunk set up by a perfect centering pass from the right side by ex-Lightning Cup winner Brad Richards, who not only assisted on Fed's goal but also later sealed the win with an empty netter at 19:34 of the 3rd.

Anisimov had a great night with the goal that tied in 2-2 in the 3rd.. Stepan rockets a shot that squirted a rebound directly to Anis on the left side who buried it. And Artem also had an assist on Stepan's game winner. Our top line Center – who is miraculously growing into that role – had 5 shots on goal, and 3 takeaways in 16:12 minutes of ice time.

Captain Callahan had a monster game of his own. He was +2 on the night, leading all Ranger forwards in that stat, and added an assist, blocked a shot and registered 6 hits. His forechecking forced the puck in deep on Anisimov's tying goal.

Ryan McDonagh led all defenseman with a +2 and 2 assists.

Derek Stepan had the game winner at 16:41 of the Third Period, and had an assist and 4 shots on goal. It was his shot that set up Anisimov's tying goal – and it was a close shot from Anisimov that created the rebound that Step rifled in from 25 feet with 3:19 left in the third to grab the Ranger's first lead.

Jeff Wowitka let Pyatt get behind him late in the 2nd to give the Lighning their 2nd and last lead of the night.

Avery Watch: Not good – the dark spot on a great win. Our Seanny was given on 5:28 of ice time and had a blank board – not shots, no hits – nothing. A step backward for Avery – at least in Tortorella's eyes.

Man-Up: The Rangers only committed one penalty and killed off the ensuing shorthanded 2 minutes. They got 2 PowerPlay opportunities of their own and failed to score – but the 2nd one with 11 seconds to go and the Rangers leading – so that one doesn't really count.

In Conclusion: Hard to believe – fun to watch. The Rangers are rolling and we're glad to be along for the ride. We're scoring – we're defending – we're tending goal. And we're suddenly very hard to beat. 4th place in the playoff seeding – but hey -we're getting way ahead pf ourselves.

We know it's early – but good early is so much better than bad early.  Let's Go Rangers.

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