What a frantic final period, but Rangers win. More later…
*9:00:* There it is…Brendan Shanahan caps a lackluster PP effort for the Rangers by depositing a Ryan Miller turnover. Miller mishandled the puck, then Matt Cullen gave the mistake in front to Shanny.
Buffalo then cut the lead to one when Tim Connolly made a great pass to Kotalik, who beat Lundqvist glove side.
What a wild minute…This one isn’t over by any mean…even if it appears so for a minute.
*13:13:* Rangers PP, drawn by the hustle of Isbister. With the way Lundqvist has looked so far, this could be it if the Rangers can net a second goal.
*End of 2nd period:* Breathe Rangers, breathe.
The Sabres finally beat Lundqvist, but they couldn’t score.
In case you missed it, the Rangers were (and still are) on an extended PK after Marek Malik followed up a Marcel Hossa penalty with one of his own. It didn’t really look like much of an infraction, but they called it anyway.
The Rangers killed the Hossa penalty (and 17 seconds of 5 on 3), and just sent the Garden into a frenzy after killing off the first minute of the Malik penalty before the period expired.
During that final minute, Derek Roy hit a one-timer that beat Lundqvist to the near-side high corner, but the shot ricocheted off the post and the Rangers cleared the puck.
It was a solid period for the Rangers, but they need to extend the lead. Buffalo isn’t playing great, but they are too good to get shut out…or at least too good to count on shutting them out.
There’s still a minute left, but the Rangers PK has looked so strong.
*6:08:* Uh oh, Rosy takes a penalty after another Malik turnover.
I’ll tell ya, I don’t think Malik makes as many TOs as it seems, but man do they come at the worst times and in the worst positions on the ice.
Again, however, the Rangers penalty killers dispatch easily of a Buffalo PP.
You have to say, Buffalo may have superior skill and depth, but the Rangers have had the better of them on special teams.
And as I speak, the Rangers draw another penalty. So here’s another PP chance.
*10:46:* Shout out to bklynblue, who alerted me to the headline problem. Rest assured, it’s been fixed.
Obviously, the Rangers look excellent right now. HOWEVER, they need to add on here or else this could be a repeat of the other night and, frankly, it’s not Sunday afternoon and there’s no need to play five periods of hockey lasting til who knows when.
Callahan trying to punch Mair just before was classic. So, too, is 4 on 4 hockey.
*19:15:* Jagr give the Rangers a lead on a PPG. It is his fourth of the playoff, and came on assits from Nylander and Rozsival.
Jagr, skating between the circles, redirected a pass from Nylander past Ryan Miller.
My question to those who saw it: Did that goal go in off the body of Teppo Numminen??? It sure looked like it on the replay.
*End of 1st period:* Despite their often sluggish play, the Rangers had the better of the play until the final few minutes of the period. That was a difficult save Lundqvist just made on Adam Mair, who quickly redirected a pass from Daniel Paille. It looked like Lundqvist just blocked the shot with his right leg by reacting quickly.
If you want to read an interesting story about the Sabres vs. Lundqvist, “check out Evan Grossman’s piece on NHL.com.”:http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=301854 Daniel Briere said Lundqvist had the quickest reflexes in the league.
One more thing: The Rangers penalty killing has been exceptional. They have such a strong rotation of forwards and all do their job well.
Now about that power play…
*7:27:* I agree with Jon. As bad as the Rangers look (and they’ve picked it up the last few minutes), the Sabres look worse. However, that’s the type of thing that can change quickly.
As for Bklynblue, Sam is currently in his regular seat down below. I’m slumming it up top (although I’m lucky just to be in the building).
Someone mentioned Hossa before. I agree. He has been out of place and a step slow the last couple games. I thought there were a few occasions on Sunday when he could’ve had a quality shot on goal but failed to get his stick on the puck. When you play with Jagr and Nylander, and passes can arrive when you least expect it, you have to be where you’re supposed to be and cash in on some of the opportunities.
*12:26:* The Rangers just cost me more work. I had to look up how to spell the words lethargic and atrocious to adequately describe their just-expired power play.
OK, OK, maybe not (the blog software has spell check). But that was just a terrible job by them. They almost looked disinterested.
*17:00:* First impression…Nylander looks a little off. That turnover on his second shift was not a good sign.
*Opening faceoff:* Maxim Afinogenov is out of the lineup for Buffalo, he of the 61 pts. Nylander, as you can see, is healthy enough to play.
OK, the team’s about to take the ice. Jason Strudwick is sitting about 10 seats to my left in a suit, but unlike me he is not sporting a computer at the moment. So what’s that mean? I’m the place to turn for in-game blogging.
As always, I note my observations and you feel free to add your comments below. Be back soon…