It was less than nine minutes, but that was all it took for the injury riddled Penguins to score three goals and cost the Rangers a big point in last night's renewal of what has become the new Hatfield-McCoy feud. It must be a thing with New York teams who can't play a full sixty minutes.
Besides playing without Crosby and Malkin the Pens took another blow when Jordan Staal made like Rocky Marciano and dropped Brandon Prust with a left hook after Prust had clean checked Tyler Kennedy. Staal was banished from the game. It gave the Rangers a short term benefit, a game tying power play goal.
The shootout set up a duel between two of the best big game goalies in the game. This time our boy, Henrik Lundqvist, came out second best to Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped Marian Gaborik in the seventh round to preserve the two points for the Pens. Dustin Jeffrey had scored the game winner in the top of the seventh.
The big surprise and naturally a disappointment was that Mats Zuccarello failed to score in the shootout. He had scored in four straight shootout games. Time to recharge the battery. Also time for the Rangers to recharge and get back to playing sixty-minute hockey. This team can't afford any lapses, no matter how short. Remember last year. We lost the last playoff position by a point. In a shootout no less.
Seth Rorabaugh's Empty Netters blog at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a very well done write-up of last night's game. He has the nice touch of adding the Rangers goal horn to his story. The Pens' "gutsy win" is our big lapse. Oh well.
Penguins at Rangers - 02-01-11