UPDATE, 10:03 p.m.: Quickly, before I write: One, most of the Rangers didn’t want to talk about the interference call on Martin Straka. Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez said they didn’t see it, and Straka didn’t want to talk about it. The one exception was Brendan Shanahan. “Weak call,” he said.
More on this in a bit…
UPDATE, second intermission: Well, one way to look at is this. The Rangers didn’t lose any ground during the second period. And I’ll even go so far to say they collected themselves well after the Penguins’ second goal.
That, of course, is an exceedingly rose-colored assessment of what happened, because the other side to consider is this place was dead about 20 minutes ago and now it’s hopping. And here I was thinking the third period might be fairly uneventful.
If you’re interested, I’ll be on with Dave Maloney in a few minutes.
UPDATE, 8:35 pm. The series’ first example of a possible Crosby Factor. Brandon Dubinsky gets called for tripping No. 87, even though replays don’t show much in the way of an infraction.
UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.: And to think, this place was dead silent just minutes ago. Two goals in 13 seconds—in large part because of lapses by Michal Rozsival and Christian Backman, respectively—has the Penguins to within one.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Where have you gone, Ty Conklin? Rangers 3, Pens 0. The fact that it was Sean Avery who just toasted Marc-Andre Fleury probably doesn’t bother Pittsburgh at all. Really.
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: A Marc Staal slap shot, a Chris Drury deflection past Marc-Andre Fleury and…..a prolonged review. Was Drury’s stick up? Not enough to overturn the call on the ice. Rangers 2, Pittsburgh 0. Wow.
UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: Expect a scoring change on the first goal. It looks like Dubinsky never touched the puck and it caromed in off Gonchar, meaning the goal will be credited to Straka.
UPDATE, first intermission: Rangers 1, Penguins 0. As ugly a period as that might have been for the Rangers, the Penguins obviously weren’t much better. They couldn’t do anything with their two power plays, or muster much when Sean Avery was force feeding the puck to their points.
Let’s call the layoff factor a wash for both teams. I would imagine the second period will be better. Otherwise I’m going to ask for my money back (never mind that I get in for free).
UPDATE, 7:32 p.m.: And just like that, the Rangers are ahead 1-0. Funny how that works. On the power play, Brandon Dubinsky appears to get a piece of the pass from Martin Straka. Needless to say, a huge break for a team that hardly enjoy an inspired start.
UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: Something tells me we’re not in Greenburgh anymore. The Rangers look like they’re still on their between-series hiatus, and just now got called for their second penalty when Christian Backman interfered with Jordan Staal.
UPDATE, 7:10 p.m.: First 23 seconds, Jaromir Jagr touches the puck, gets booed, then gets whistled for cross-checking Sergei Gonchar in the offensive zone. Not exactly the composed start the Rangers were looking for.
UPDATE, 6:58 p.m.: Tom Renney is throwing his top line headfirst into the fire. The line of Martin Straka, Brandon Dubinsky, and Jaromir Jagr starts out with Michal Rozsival and Marc Staal at defense. Sid the Kid, Marian Hossa, and Pascal Dupuis start out for the Pens, with Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik at defense.
UPDATE, 6:48 p.m.: Another round, another attempt at a live blog.
There were no incidents to speak of in warm-ups, and by that I mean the taco/fajita dinner is still with me. As far as the players, they seem fine, too.
Here’s a picture to capture the spirit.