9:22 p.m.: I’ll tell you…Avery is always in the mix, making something happen, in these big games. A goal and an assist.
Still, Scott Gomez is easily the player of the game. He made all three plays happen, at least to some extent.
Rangers now should be free and easy on Friday with a one-game leadÂ in the series.
8:59 p.m.: Unfortunately, the blog is fading in and out. I can’t add much right now anyway since we’re closing in on deadline.
Can’t tell you I’ve figured out yet where that Gomez penalty occurred. Tough call. … It would be 2-1 if it weren’t for Lundqvist.
8:06 p.m.: Ranger goal scored by Brendan Shanahan, who got the puck along the side boards after it appeared Scott Gomez lost possession of it. Shanahan really looked like he was trying to feed a cutting Gomez, but Gomez didn’t get the deflection (although in real time I though he had).
Ironic goal. Not just because Gomez â€” the crowd’s whipping boy â€” scored it, but because the Rangers had just finished another dreadful PP. Well…now it’s time for another.
7:44 p.m.: It’s a 0-0 tie through one. Blueshirts on the PP to start the 2nd.
Not a good finish to the period for the Rangers, who are struggling to do much against the Devils’ defensive system.
Avery, as you probably know, returned only a few minutes after he left the ice. As my colleague Carp said when he saw the stitches, that won’t look good tomorrow…Of course, that’s probably how Avery prefers it. (As an aside, the consensus here is the puck that hit Avery came off Marty Brodeur’s stick…that outta continue their love affair.)
That period will not go on the resume tapes of most Rangers. Surprisingly, you can count Fedor Tyutin and Dan Girardi among them.
Also, I saw Jagr go to the locker room with 1:12 to play. Not sure if he’s banged up or just getting back there early because he had just finished his final shift of the period. It’s worthwhile noting that he missed the PP.
7:26 p.m.: No update on Avery, but that looked like it hurt. The puck deflected off his stick blade and into his left eye. For such a tough guy, Avery sure seemed to be in serious pain.
What effect will it have? The Rangers just had a terrible power play without their emotional leader, including a near-goal by Sergei Brylin.
7:21 p.m.: Above is a picture taken from my seat at press row, which is a far cry from the Garden.
Good action so far (only three whistles in 9 minutes), not many chances. Jagr came awfully close to burying that one-timer. That would’ve been a nice start for the Rangers.
7:06 p.m.: Sorry…Officials: Greg Kimmerly, Bill McCreary as the refs, Greg Devorski and Brad Kovachik as the linesmen.
And geez, is this building nice.
NYR â€” Marek Malik, Petr Prucha, Colton Orr, Jason Strudwick
NJD â€” Vitaly Vishnevski, Sheldon Brookbank, Rod Pelley, Barry Tallackson, Karel Rachunek
NYR â€” Marc Staal and Michal Rozsival; Martin Straka, Brandon Dubinsky, Jaromir Jagr; Henrik Lundqvist
NJD â€” Colin White and Mike Mottau; Dainius Zubrus, MIke Rupp and David Clarkson; Martin Brodeur
Obviously, this means Mara is in the lineup, as is Hollweg. And…admittedly, I must’ve been seeing things yesterday with Avery.