Rangers win with 3:17 left in the second overtime on a Michal Rozsival slapshot from the point.
Tremendous game. Either Sam or I will be back later on.
What an OT period by the Rangers, who pressured Buffalo all period but couldn’t get the winner. Matt Cullen had a decent chance, as did Hossa, but I can’t really remember the specifics because my brain is overloaded with everything that’s gone on.
Zubrus’ shot almost went in. I think it hit a Ranger, and beat Lundqvist to the post. It nearly bounced over the goal line after it hit the post, but the Rangers were fortunate.
I think the main question now is this: How much do these teams have left to give? And, more importantly, which team still has more to give than the other? I thought the Rangers were done late in the third, but they have responded with a second wind. Let’s see if it can continue.
A couple chances there for the Rangers, but we’re going overtime.
Either way, officiating is going to be part of today’s story.
The penalty on Shanahan comes back to haunt the Rangers, who fall into a tie on the goal by Daniel Briere. The Buffalo star beat Lundqvist through a few screens to knot the score at 1-1.
Totally deflating for the Rangers, who definitely had their opportunities to take a two-goal lead. They could end up being sorry they didn’t capitalize.
The Garden is sorta dead all of a sudden. Everyone is stunned.
Buffalo had been 0 for 6 on the PP before that, but you can’t give an offense like that so many chances.
Well, Avery nearly had that big moment I talked about before, but with his jam shot inches from the goal line, Teppo Numminen stopped the rolling puck with his stick blade.
The teams are flying right now. Incredible intensity.
Rachunek nearly made himself the game 3 goat on the giveaway to Hecht, but Lundqvist, as he has all game, made the stop when he needed to.
Here’s a stat for you: The refs have two takeaways, one on Jagr and one now on Shanahan. They are probably the most productive defensive pairing on the ice.
In a non-Rangers related note: For those of you who like good college hockey, BU will face Cornell on Nov. 24th at the Garden. It is significant for two reasons: 1) notice they did not invite UNH, and 2) BU is the best.
So there you have it. Now back to your Rangers.
The last penalty saw Jagr tie his season high with six penalty minutes. Amazing. But, yes, it was an absolute farce. The guy on the Sabres simply tripped over Jagr’s stick.
The Garden crowd just went bonkers after the no-call when Isbister was pulled to the ground. It was yet another tough play to swallow.
Still, no matter how the game has been called, the Rangers have done an excellent job of putting pressure on Buffalo. They are definitely the aggressors today, which is something many of you asked for. Problem is, a one-goal lead is not safe.
Well, say this: Paul Mara got his money’s worth, roughing up the Sabres in front of the net before getting tossed in the box.
With all the work Lundqvist had to do killing off the Jagr penalty (which, by the way, looked inadvertent), I can’t imagine he was very happy with the Mara penalty.
Quick thought: I get the sense Avery’s going to do something. He’s right in the middle of every play when he’s on the ice.
Tough call there. The PA just said Rachunek made a “distinct” kicking motion. But you have to say, with the way he was taken down by Ales Kotalik, Rachunek probably couldn’t have kicked anything.
Oh well, it was nearly 2-0.
Jagr scores at even strength to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. He made the play himself after Marek Malik kept the puck in the zone. Jagr made a nice move to open up space by the left circle and took a shot on Ryan Miller. The Sabres goalie stopped it, and appeared to stop the rebound try by Martin Straka but the shot trickled through Miller’s legs. Jagr then slammed it over the goal line.
The Rangers were spared having to kill another penalty when the officials (who had already put Tyutin in the box for tripping on Briere) decided Briere was offsides. That was a huge emotional lift because a penalty there would’ve taken a little luster off the Jagr goal.
From the stat sheet:
Rangers have 13 hits, Sabres 3. Huuuge difference from what we’ve seen so far.
Also, ice time for the Rangers Ã¢â‚¬â€ I was right. Only 1:31 for Isbister and 1:26 for Betts. It’s fairly balanced other than that, but it’s clear Renney is sticking with his top three lines whenever possible.
Rozsival leads the team so far at 8:34. I know that’s normal for him, but it may take its toll considering he is pinching more to help alleviate pressure off Jagr and Nylander in the offensive zone. The shifts are probably a little more taxing…twice before he was in the corner battling for pucks at even strength.
Jagr was repaid with a hook by Henrik Tallinder (the guy who Jagr hooked). Again, the Rangers had good chances on their PP and didn’t capitalize. The best chance was a quick cross ice feed from Mara to Callahan, but Callahan didn’t seem ready for it…and there was a good chance he could’ve scored.
There are still 20 seconds left on the PP to start the second period.
Jagr in the box now for hooking, so the Rangers are making their level of difficulty just a little bit higher.
They were lucky the Briere line didn’t get a goal before. They had several chances on net and the Rangers simply couldn’t get the puck out of the zone.
Another thing I’ve noticed so far is the fourth line has gotten almost zero ice time compared to normal.
The Rangers are about 30% on the PP vs. the Sabres, both in this series and in the regular season….and that was a good one. They didn’t score but had plenty of chances. That could be a key for them today because they can’t get much going even strength outside of Avery’s two semi-breakaways.
Honestly, Lauren read my mind. There’s no way the fans should boo Malik. Once he’s in the lineup, his play can only be hurt by the boos.
Other than that, the game has been played at a nice pace so far. The Rangers killed the Avery penalty, and could probably argue that Avery should’ve drawn one on his rush a couple minutes ago.
We’re about to drop the puck here at the Garden. I’ll be with you throughout the game, and Sam will duck in for updates between periods. (He’s very possessive I guess.)
The refs just took the ice. The teams will be next…and I’ll be back shortly after the puck is dropped.