Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rangers Beat The Best In The West - 4-1

Tonight’s Ranger game matched up our heroes against an Anaheim Duck team with the most overall point in the NHL.  

But the big guys blinked.  They started their back up goaltender – the looney tunes galaxy questing Ilya Bryzgalov.  I’m taking this as a very good sign – as if the Ducks think they might see us again in the cup finals and don’t want us to learn too much about their #1 net minder.

The first period was hard fought and closely checked – with the Rangers getting a slight edge in scoring chances and Henrik Lundqvist looking sharp in the net.    No goals and the first period ended 0-0.

But then in the 2nd period:

QUACK!  The Ducks let up their first goal.   On a delayed penalty the Rangers looked like a well oiled machine.  Lundqvist scooted to the bench – Derick Brassard jumped on as the extra skater – and fired the puck through Bryzgalov and it was 1-0.  And that’s how the 2nd period ended – with Lundqvist saving all 18 of the shots he had seen so far.  On to the third and…

QUACK! At 2:32 of the third, Kevin Klein intercepted a clearing attempt with his hand – dropped the puck to the ice and fired off a shot.  Bryzgalov made the initial save – but there was Rick Nash on the doorstep to smack in the rebound for his 25th goal of the season (in a season that is not half way over yet!).  2-0 Rangers.

Then the Ducks waddled back into the game on a screened and deflected power-play shot that Hank couldn’t grab.  But then – at 14:27 of the third:

QUACK!  Little Mats Zuccarello stole the puck near the right circle and just fired it right by Bryzgalov and it was 3-1.  And then with time winding down and the Duck’s goaltender pulled for an extra skater.

QUACK!  Dominic Moore from just inside the red line fired in the empty netter and you had your 4-1 victory over the best team in hockey.  Hank saved .960% of the shots that came his way and the Rangers outshot the “quackers” 30-25.

Did Special Teams Determine The Outcome Of This Game?  Well, the perfectly executed extra skater on the delayed penalty gave us a goal – but the Ducks scored their lone goal on the power play – so we’d have to say no.

Where Do We Stand? The win (11th in 12 games) outs us at 22-11-4 with 48 points.  The damned Capitals KEEP WINNING – so they are in 3rd in the Metro – 1 point ahead of us but having played 2 more games.  We have the 7th spot – the first wild card – 3 points ahead of the “line-of-death”.  We’re also just 5 points behind the Islanders with 3 games at hand.  Creeping up on them. 

What’s Next?  We rematch the Kings.  Cam in goal.  Dave Pucks out and thanks for reading.

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