Sunday, May 4, 2008
The New York Rangers lost in overtime Sunday, 3-2, due to the 2nd goal of the game scored by Marion Hossa. Hossa had beaten Lundqvist on a quick wrist shot through the 5 hole. In the post-game interviews, Lundqvist stated that he thought for sure Hossa was going to go high with his shot and he had prepared himself accordingly. However, during the post-game handshakes, Hossa revealed to Lundqvist that he missed the initial shot a bit causing it to stay low and go through the 5 hole.
The Rangers did put up a valiant effort fighting back from a 2 goal deficit to start the 3rd period. Lauri Korpikoski, a rookie, fired a quick wrist shot that beat Fleury and then shortly thereafter Nigel Dawes added the game tying goal in a span of 1:22. The Rangers had to fight with all of their will and they actually took the momentum away from the Penguins from that point. Rest assured that there was now some doubt creeping into the heads of the Penguins.
With 1:18 to go in regulation, Chris Drury - who was high sticked earlier in the game by Ryan Malone that somehow went unnoticed as blood poured onto the ice - was called for high sticking on Malone and was given a 4 minute penalty. How ironic. Luckily, the Rangers managed to kill off the portion of the penalty in the 3rd as well as the remaining 2:42 in the overtime. The penalty kill was largely due to some great goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers even had a golden opportunity while shorthanded when Martin Straka fed a pass to Mark Staal, who in turn tried returning the favor back to Straka on the 2 on 1 breakaway. However, the pass was broken up by a Pittsburgh backchecker. I really feel that Mark Staal should have shot the puck, as he was clearly in a scoring zone (stop the pass-first, shoot-second mentality... it ended up killing the Rangers). In the end you must tip your hat to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are a deep and talented hockey team that is built for this post-lockout type of hockey.
Once again, I do have some beefs with the officiating. Some of the stick fouls in today's game - by both teams - were truly laughable. I'm still trying to think of how 2 referees miss Drury bleeding like a stuck pig on the ice due to a high stick... in the end the better team and some unfortunate bad calls/no calls ended the Rangers season a few steps short of their ultimate goal.