Sunday, January 27, 2013

Woah! Rangers Win A Second Hockey Game!

When John Tortorella first looked at the Rangers lockout-shortened schedule this year - he probably thought that the Maple Leafs game was a good opportunity to give Henrik Lundqvist the night off. 

Of course, when  we got to Saturday, the Rangers 1-3 record made that move impossible. 

The problem is - for the first period - Henrik acted like he did have the night off - even though he was in goal (editor please play ironic "boing" sound now.)

While the rangers got 14 Shots on goal in the first, they only let up three. Of course, this resulted in a two to nothing deficit for our heroes.

Because two of Toronto's three first period shots scooted behind Henrik to give the lowly Maple Leaf's a 2-0 first period lead. The confused rangers skated off the ice after the first period as the Garden faithful rained boo's down on them.

There was nothing to do but keep on attacking and hope that the Hockey Gods would restore the natural order of the universe. The second period went somewhat better. Hank made 6 saves instead of 1 – and the Rangers got one of their 11 shots past Reimer.

It was Brad Richards – once again on the Super Line with Gaborik and Nash who each assisted on Bard's second goal of the season to cut the deficit to 2-1. We need a name for this line – if you don't like “Super Line” how about “Super Marian Brothers” or – for you old timers GAG Line Two (editor – this is after the original Goal A Game line of Ratelle, Hadfield and Gilbert in the 1970s)

So after two periods we're out-shooting the Leafs 25 to 9, hank has a big 7 saves and we're still losing. But don't worry – The Rangers show up huge in the third.

With their fragile season once again on the line – Marc Staal nets the tying goal at 7:36 as he and Del Zotto worked the puck deep as the Toronto defense focused on Gabby, Brad and Rick.

The go ahead goal was one of the prettiest goals fro Gaborik we've seen since – well – Wednesday I guess. This time The Gifted One deflected a Marc Staal shot in the Toronto that is hard to see even in slow motion. Holding the stick vertical to the ice – Marian makes perfect contact with the blistering shot and Riemer never had a chance.

Two more goals – One off of a Boyle and the other an empty netter from Gabby sealed the deal.
The offensive stats look great: Two Goals and Two assists for Marian. Two assists for Nash and Del Zotto. A goal and assist for Staal and Richards. Lone assists for Stepan and Girardi.

A less good story for Hank. It's hard to win a 5-2 game with a lower save percentage than your opposing goalie, but Hank (.882) did exactly that with Reimer (.902).

But plenty of good news to talk about. Offense back on track. Hank did save the last 14 shots he faced, and Ranger fans can step back off the ledge for another two days.

Next up is a Tuesday night game when the Flyers come to town. That gives Tortorella a few days to train and coach his team. Let's see if it makes a difference.

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