Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rangers yield first goal for 4th straight game - lose this time 4-2 in Toronto

It had to end sometime.

For the 4th straight game the Rangers were playing with fire - letting their opponents score an early first goal. But this time they, not satisfied being down one goal, they let up 2 more. And for the 4th straight game - they came roaring back from a deficit.

Using their bodies to slam and slow the speedier Leafs – the Rangers began to tilt the ice back in their favor.

Then, finally, with exactly 7 minutes left in the 2nd period they broke through. It was Avery's line – but Seanny had taken the line change and Artem Anisimov had charged onto the ice. Prust had worked the puck down low and passed it in front to Anisimov who snapped a 25 foot shot past Jonas Gustavsson to get the Rangers on the board.

20 seconds later Anisimov drew a penalty – Stekel for interference – and the Rangers were on the powerplay. Then, the Maple Leafs' Bozak hooked Derek Stepan and the Rangers had a 5 on 3. This time Stepan got Gaborik the puck on the doorstep and Gabby dunked the 8 footer.

Suddenly the 3-0 deficit was 3-2.

From then on the Rangers came with everything they had. They hustled. They hit. They got shots off. But they could never quite get the equalizer. Up a man in the game's final minute – and pulling Lundqvist to skate 6 on 4 – the Ranger's forced Gustavsson to make a couple of key saves before yielding the empty netter to end the game 4-2.

The question is – how healthy did we come out of this one? Mike Sauer had to leave the game. Del Zotto took a nasty header into the boards and looked badly hurt but returned to the game. And Gaborik had to get his leg taped – but kept on playing.

Anisimov ended up with 7 shots and one goal. Del Zotto had an assist and is hopefully okay after his injury. Gaborik had the one goal. There were also assists by Prust, Richards and Stepan.

Our Plus-Minus victims were Callahan and Richards at -2. Only Prust and Dubin sky were +1.

Our Rangers clearly tried last night. But winning 4 games in a row where you trail 1-0 is nearly impossible. Still they won 5 in a row overall and have played really well this year so far.

We knew the streak would have to end sometime. They key is to shake this one off and keep on coming.

We'll find out if the Rangers can do that starting Thursday night when the Lightning come to town.

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