Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lundqvist, Rangers Block Caps

The Rangers took one more step toward an improbable first round upset with a stirring 1-0 win over the Caps at the Verizon and now head home to MSG with a chance to close out the Caps in four games. Unbelievable. Lundqvist and the Rangers blocked the Caps from tying the series at 1-1, literally. Lundqvist, who was the Prince again, made 35 saves and the Rangers blocked 29 shots with an early first period goal by Callahan, on assists from Naslund and Dubinsky. That was all the Prince needed to post his third career post season shutout.

The mighty Ovechkin had 6 shots on goal and 7 blocked shots. The vaunted Caps power play was 0-3. Washington seemed a bit more anxious than the Rangers and it showed up in the giveaways. The Caps coughed up the puck 24 times and the Rangers gave it away only 7 times. Mike Green was guilty 7 times and Ovechkin 5 times. Ovechkin seemed ready to come out of his skin a few times as he was frustrated by Lundqvist and the close checking Rangers. The Rangers actually out hit the Caps 23-20. He will be one uncaged tiger ready to prowl on Monday night at the Garden.

The young Varlamov was a surprise choice over Theodore and he played quite well stopping 23 Ranger shots. He was not at fault on the Callahan goal and I wouldn't be surprised if he is back in the nets Monday night. The Rangers have now won three straight on the road, counting the season finale, and have won five straight overall. However, the big news is that they have a 2-0 games lead over the Caps and Henrik Lundqvist is our Prince again. Long live the Prince. While the Prince was the number one star and Callahan and Naslund were two and three the case could be made for any number of Rangers including Rozsival and Redden, huh, Dubinsky, Sjostrom, Betts, Gomez and of course Avery, who continues to be Avery. In fact, there was not one non-performer on the ice for the Rangers today and let's hope its the same for Monday.

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  • blow-me-down said...

    I agree - I can't think of a single Ranger who did not play well. The game was still closer on the scoreboard than it should have been, and once again I point to the powerplay.
    I thought they would get one goal out of the man advantage, but...again, they were pretty well all duds.

    Callahan is just simply a superb player. His focus and commitment, and effectivness, just blows me away.

  • Chief Tomahawk said...

    Its all about the goaltending. The Rangers have it and the Caps do not. Lundqvist is earning his big pay check with a little help from his friends.

  • blow-me-down said...

    It's the playoffs, goaltending and TEAM effort is what wins.
    Hank played great, and had a great effort in front of him. NYR blocked something like 27 shots.

    I thought Varlamov played a very good game. But I think we will see Theodore in on Monday, can't imagine throwing the kid into a pressure cooker game at MSG.

  • Down by the Seaside said...

    There's an old adage in sports that says "you're never as good as you look after a win or as bad as you look after a loss." Well we're up 2 - 0 despite having the play taken to us both games.

    We can't rely on Henrik to stand on his head the rest of the series (dare I say the next round?). What happened to our forecheck? And do you think the Torch still wants Avery thrown out of the league? LOL!

  • jb said...

    Seeing Naslund pick up his game, Redden not be so terrible, and Callahan doing his thing gives me a very good vibe.

    But, regression to the mean and the terrible PP lurks as the fly buzzing around my 'happy place' Ranger soup.

    Need Drury, Gomer, Dubi, or Z to give us something extra. Avery scoring would be a tasty fish cracker in the soup.