He used to give us fits and one playoff game last year he gave us the ultimate agita scoring a tying goal against us with 7.7 seconds left in the game. We lost the game in OT. Now he is on our side thanks to being one of the two best moves our GM made in the off season. He is Chris Drury and he scored his 4th career OT goal and his first as a Ranger. It was his 24th of the year. Remember his big tying goal against Brodeur on the 19th at The Rock? He is starting to come on and why not? Its close to playoff time and these last few games are playoff type games. It is his time of the year. It was his 44th career game winning goal.
The 2-1 win, Jagr got the other Ranger goal his 21st, jumped the Rangers into fifth place one point ahead of Ottawa. We are tied with the Devils for fourth with 93 points each but they have more wins than us and they also have a game in hand. The game at The Rock on Sunday is the season finale and may decide fourth and fifth place. Two points more by the Rangers or a loss by Washington will clinch the Rangers third straight playoff appearance. It would be great if the Rangers could rap it up Thursday at the Island. A lot of my Islander friends already miserable over the teams performance this year will have to go into a thirty day mourning period if the Rangers clinch on Long Island.
The game was a solid, rock 'em, sock 'em playoff type game with the Rangers matching the Penguins hit for hit, (34-33), unlike last nights game. Sean Avery set the tone early, first with a big hit on Sydor and about 20 seconds later he tangled with Ryan Malone, who objected to Avery's hit on Sydor. After a spirited exchange Avery decked Malone with a right cross. Needless to say that brought the crowd into the game.
Jagr played a great game and his goal, a power play goal, was the second fluke goal in a row the Rangers have scored at the Garden. His shot was deflected over goalie Fleury's head and as it came down it looked like Gomez was trying to bat it in but defenseman Rob Scuderi swung his hand to stop Gomez's stick. Scuderi swatted the puck off of Fleury's head into the net. Originally the ref ruled no goal, however, the review showed it was a goal, so maybe just in time for the playoffs the Rangers are getting lucky. The goal was Jagr's third in his last five games.
Lundqvist was outstanding especially in the third period when he made twelve saves. Overall he made 21 saves, quite a few spectacular. The one goal scored by Pittsburgh was because of poor coverage by Dubinsky who was busy trying to atone for a Penguin hit on Jagr which left Lundqvist vulnerable. Its hard to fault Dubinsky who played a great game. To me the three stars were number one Chris Drury, number two Jaromir Jagr and number three Henrik Lundqvist. Sean Avery with three shots, three hits and the big fight played great as did Ryan Callahan who had four shots and eight hits. All in all a strong comeback from the stinker in Pittsburgh. The Rangers took the season series from Pittsburgh five games to three, winning all four games at the Garden. The Rangers have the sixth best home record in the NHL, hence the importance of getting the number four spot.
For some nice pics, an extensive report, and an "interesting" take on the game, check out the Pensblog:
The Rangers have come out of nowhere the past month or so to make a name for themselves. They are coming together at the right time.
They were a desperate team in this game, and they got it done.
The Pens wanted to win.
The Rangers had to win.
As far as the Rangers postseason hopes go, their defense is solid as balls.
Unlike the whiny New York Media, their fans, and their team, we aren't going to run the Rangers down, like they run the Penguins down. All you can do is appreciate the hockey that went down Monday night.
Chris Drury is clutch, and clutch is everything.
But the Pens got a point, on the road...