Friday, April 27, 2012

The Dark Blue Knight Trumphant! Hank and Rangers beat Ottawa

Victory! And the Season Lives On

With everything on the line - in our building - the New York Rangers - with grit - determination - defense - goaltending - and my lucky hat! - hang on to beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 and win the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It has been a while. The last 3 seasons were: 1st round exit - no playoffs - first round exit.

Not this time.

It took all seven games - and required grabbing 2 road wins - but the Rangers finally - finally! - can put the Senators in the rearview mirror and move forward.

It was a tough win - fitting for a tough series. After a scoreless first it was the defensemen - Staal and Girardi - who gave the Rangers a 2 goal lead. And once again Ottawa fought back to make it a 1 goal contest.

On to the third they went. The Rangers were masterful - keeping the Senator's pinned in their own end for much of the period - blocking shots - and making key saves - to hold off a barrage from Ottawa in the frantic final minutes.

In the end Hank was exultant. Our Dark Blue Knight was near perfect - stopping 29 of the 30 shots that came his way for an unreal save percentage of .967.

Craig Anderson - who played the series of his life stopped 27 of 29. A great game - but just short of what was needed. When it ended - Craig initially fled the ice - crushed and inconsolable. He did eventually remember he had to get on the hand shaking line - and returned. But you have to feel for the guy - he was amazing and quite nearly stole this series for the Senators.

In the end the Rangers outshot Ottawa last night 29-27 and out hit them 29-23. We out-shot-blocked them as well by a wide margin.

Assists for Prust, Callahan, Dubinsky, and the resurgent Stepan (who got points on 4 of our last five goals). Chris Kreider looks like a veteran player out there - and Torts has shown that he's comfortable using him in key moments. One tough stretch for Michael Del Zotto who was drawn by the bully Neil into taking a dumb penalty that resulted in Ottawa's lone goal on the powerplay. Hagelin was great for the Blueshirts - his speed on the forecheck a big factor - and his breakout and drawn penalty in the final seconds sealed the win.

And so - the season lives on. We sit 12 wins from hoisting the cup now. And on Saturday we take on our recent nemisis - the Washington Capitals - a team that beat us in 7 of the last 8 playoff games we've played against them.

Well, no one said it would be easy. We have a chance at redemption now.

And - much more.

Let's Go Rangers.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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