We’re starting right in. Press room meal was turkey and mashed potatoes, meaning I have a strange desire to curl up and take a nap. But I’ll power through...
UPDATE, 5:11 p.m.: 2-0 is 2-0, no way to dress it up. But the Rangers are already latching on to what they did in falling behind to Buffalo last year, and then coming back to win two straight at the Garden. Two different series, I know.
UPDATE, 4:24 p.m.: Time is getting short. Rangers look tired, and the ice seems choppy—not a promising combination.
UPDATE, 4:14 p.m.: This is not the way to come back. Two Pittsburgh power plays in the first six minutes.
UPDATE, second intermission: The Rangers will go into the third needing a goal to tie it up. After a marginal effort in Game 1, Marc Andre-Fleury has been stellar. Henrik Lundqvist has been every bit as good, but was left exposed after a brilliant move by Evgeni Malkin set up Jordan Staal.
So this it. The series doesn’t end today regardless, but for the Rangers, a loss here makes the collapse in Game 1 sting all the worse.
UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: After the Penguins miss what seemed like a half-dozen point blank chances in front, Jordan Staal cashes in. The Pens are up 1-0, but Chris Drury just drew a holding penalty against Marian Hossa.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: The Rangers best early scoring chance may have come when Jagr took that drop pass from Martin Straka. But he opted to make an extra move on Brooks Orpik and took away his angle. This is turning into a flinching contest.
UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: Looks like the Rangers are trying to stretch the Penguins a bit to start the second, which is fine as long as they don’t get caught stretched themselves.
UPDATE, first intermission: All things considered, a better first period for the Rangers than in Game 1—with the notable exception that they don’t have a lead. Of course, we all know how that worked out.
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Crosby goes down, Tom Renney smirks. Easy, Tom. Michel Therrien might see that!
UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Some dicey early moments, but no blood. If nothing else, Henrik Lundqvist again looks sharp, staying with Marian Hossa the entire way on his breakaway.
UPDATE, 2:21 p.m.: New lines were a ruse. Avery is back with Scott Gomez and Brendan Shanahan.
UPDATE, 2:16 p.m.: New lines for Rangers: Sean Avery to skate with Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan.
UPDATE, 1:58 p.m.: For the record, no white T-shirt giveaway today. Too bad for the thousands of fans who showed up expecting as much, and now have to sit through the game shirtless.
I’m kidding, of course. There are public decency laws even in Pittsburgh….
UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: First potential omen of the day: Before Game 1, when the Rangers charged on to the ice for warm-ups, Blair Betts was the first player to touch a puck and he sent a shot sailing past the goal. Today, Betts was again the first player to shoot, and he scores! To borrow from Sam Rosen, It’s a meaningless warm-up goal!