For reals, Ryan Callahan scored two goals on his birthday, No. 18 and 19 on the season as he turned 24.
“Personally, it was a good way to spend my birthday,” Callahan said. “It was a good birthday gift at the end, the empty netter.”
He joked that when he blew out the candles he’d actually wished for a hat trick. Maybe next year. (I love the internet, this cake is on the Rangers website.)
With the 5-3 win (after a 4-1 lead going into the third) the Rangers fall to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. That’s because a Carolina win gave them a boost, but on the flip side the Rangers are three points in front of Montreal. It’s a little bit of distance with 10 games left in the season, and the Rangers are streaking, winning seven of the last nine.
Up next is Ottawa, in about 20 hours.
Chris Drury scored on a power play, Nik Antropov had two assists and Henrik Lundqvist had 37 saves and played tight. The third period was a bit a let down for the Rangers, and Lundqvist kept it from getting ugly. John Tortorella called him the best goalie in the NHL.
It got a little chippy. Nikolai Zherdev defended Scott Gomez, who said he didn’t feel targeted after what happened with goalie Ryan Miller in an earlier meeting. Sean Avery went back and forth with Insert Sabre Here, and Brandon Dubinsky got a 10 minute misconduct with a minute left with Paul Gaustad.
This time of year, there will be drama.
Lastly, Carp wanted me to link to this article about the death of Walt Poddubny. And props to Spraystop for putting it up at the bottom of the game thread.