Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rangers take game one: 4-2


You need it in the playoffs. And, for one game at least - the Rangers have it.

Ottawa - it appears to me - deliberately tanked their last two games to drop to the 8th seed and take on a Ranger team that they had beaten in three of four regular season contests.

Talk about a lack of respect. Well, they wanted us - and they got us.

Just be careful what you wish for, Ottawa. The Rangers took advantage of their home ice advantage to stop the Senators 4-2 and capture the first of their best-of-seven series.

It was the usual suspects who played big and took the game over.

First - who else? - Captain Ryan Callahan got the Rangers on the board. Grabbing a rebound off Anderson (from an Anisimov shot) Cally eluded defenseman Kuba (Cally Si! Kuba No!) and beat Anderson to get the Rangers on the board at 7:59 of the first.

And the game stayed 1-0 for a long time.

Ottawa frankly started dominating in the first half of the second period - but the Rangers - led by superstar Henrik Lundqvist - fillibustered the Senators and refused to let them tie the game,

After back-to-back icing whistles - John Tortorella wisely called time - to rest his players and aggressively implore them to retake the momentum.

Good advice - well played by Torts - and it worked.

As the 2nd period wound down - the Rangers surged and the tide was turned.

First Marian Gaborik got the puck in deep on a two-on-one and made one of those plays that only The Gifted One can make.

Alone on Anderson he skated in front of the net and faked... and faked.... and waited. The moment Anderson kicked out his legs - Gabby rifled it 5-hole to make it 2-0.

Late in the 2nd it was the red hot Brian Boyle - who has been money ever since Hockey Rodent called him a liability - who netted the Rangers another for the (dreaded?) 3 goal lead.

On to the third they went and in the first 3 minutes it was Brad Richards - the Ranger key off-season acquisition - who found the net for his first Ranger post-season goal and an insurmountable 4-0 lead.

The Senators refused to stay vanquished, however and did strike back - breaking Hank's shutout midway through the 3rd and adding a second goal in the last 3 minutes to make is a more respectable 4-2 loss.

And that's how it ended - the Rangers holding serve - striking first - and getting off on the right skate.

It's just one win - but it's a start. 15 more and we hoist the cup!

- - - - - -
And I gotta say - way to go Flyers! The Broad Street Bullies - who I dislike - are really sticking it to the Pittsburgh Penguins - who I REALLY dislike. For the 2nd straight game Philadelphia has overcome an early multiple-goal deficit to stun the Crosbys on their home ice. It's 2-0 Flyers now with 3 of the next 4 contests in South Philly. Just two weeks ago Pittsburgh looked unbeatable - until the New York Islanders of all people - exposed them - and now the Flyers are doing the same. With Sidney Crosby miserable this is the feel-good story of the year.

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