Frankly I never thought I would see it again, but there it was. Not one but two backpage headlines. My two early morning deliveries were brought to me with glaring headlines. The New York Post had, Capt. Clutch and the Newsday had, Smash Opening. Add in the fact that SI had Henrik Lundqvist on its East coast edition and suddenly the Rangers are media marvels. It is rare for hockey players and especially Rangers to make the SI cover. My boy, Andy Bathgate was the first Ranger to make SI's cover back in 1959. However, Chuck Rayner made Time's cover back in the late 40's and goalie Dave Kerr was on the cover of Time way back in 1938.
Lundqvist again dominated the game and if the Senators want to make a series of this they need better goaltending. Lundqvist didn't give up a goal until midway through the third period. By then the Rangers had a four goal lead. The Ottawa goalie, Craig Anderson, gave up a fluff goal to Callahan midway through the first period and it was all downhill for him and his team. Goals by Gaborik and Boyle had given the Rangers a 3-0 lead going into the third period. Lundqvist made 13 saves in the first and 11 in the second. Lundqvist made 30 saves. The win was his 16th playoff win against 20 losses.
The other star of last nights game was Captain Crunch, Ryan Callahan. After scoring the game opening goal he became a run-away bowling ball on a mission of total destruction knocking off players like they were bowling pins. First it was ex-teammate Matt Gilroy, then Jesse Winchester and then anyone else who stood between him and the puck. He was credited with 7 hits leading all skaters. The two teams equally split 74 hits so this was not your Saturday night social meeting.
All in all a good first start and it sets the stage for the Saturday nite social. A win for the Rangers and they will have held serve and home ice advantage, a loss and home ice advantage goes to the Sens. However, if the Rangers play follow the leader they can't go wrong and they now have two leaders to follow. If this keeps up we may get the front pages next time.
Captain's Playoff Hat --
It wasn't just the fact that Ryan Callahan scored the Rangers first goal of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday night that earned him the coveted Broadway Hat following the Blueshirts 4-2 victory over Ottawa. It was his all-around game---called a "monster performance" by teammate Brian Boyle---that landed Callahan the Broadway Hat.
"He played physical and a real good all-around game, just like usual," said Marian Gaborik. "He proved it again tonight---scored that big first goal, and that got us going. He does everything for us."...