Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Pittsburgh Penguins scored 5, count them 5, 3rd period goals and blew out the Rangers by a final score of 6-2. The game itself started out very well for the Rangers. Nikolai Zherdev rifled a wristshot past Marc Andre Fleury to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Petr Sykora evened it up by swatting a puck by Lundqvist as he was being bumped by a Penguins player.
I thought the Rangers had the better scoring chances in the 1st period as well as the 2nd period. The Rangers outshot the Penguins 26-17 over 2 periods. I started to get that uneasy feeling that's been with me all year... dominate, but can't score and the 3rd period was the unraveling of the Rangers. Jordan Staal's innocent backhand from behind the net went off of Lundqvist's stick, then his skate, for a 2-1 Penguin lead (Lundqvist had some trouble with the easy ones tonight, maybe a little rusty?). Then, it all went down hill fast as Kris Letang (a beautiful shot) and Petr Sykora (Ranger killer lately?) gave Pittsburgh all they needed to put it on cruise control. Marc Staal cut the lead to 2, but Letang wheeled his way through the Ranger team for his 2nd of the game and of course, Sidney Crosby would finish the Rangers off with a nice backhand to make the final score 6-2.
My thoughts on the game are that the Rangers obviously played well for 2 periods and had many opportunities to take at least a 2 goal lead into the 3rd period. But, this is the Rangers... a team that, to put it nicely - struggles to score. Period, end of story. I've come to realize, begrudgingly, that in order for the Rangers to win they must play the low scoring 3-2, 2-1, type of game. It's that simple. Low scoring games might not be what the Ranger faithful want, but unless there is a major trade this is the way that it will have to happen. Just my opinion. Kind of like the win against Carolina, that's been the Rangers in a nutshell this season. It's not all gloom and doom though... 5-2-1 in the last 7, but it's going to be a tough one in Beantown on Saturday. Over and out.
Update: I will be attending Adam Graves night tomorrow at the Garden. Be back with a report!