Sunday, April 12, 2009
The New York Rangers finished the regular season off in style with a 4-3 win on the road over the rival Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, who could have clinched the 4th seed and home ice advantage over the Pittsburgh Penguins, had a big fork stuck in that dream by the Blueshirts on Sunday.
The Rangers played a strong and determined style of hockey that could bode well for them in the playoffs. Two goals by Brandon Dubinsky: one on the PP and the other a nice shorthanded effort (which was the first shorthanded goal given up by the Flyers all season long), helped even the score out at 2 after the 1st period. The Flyers' Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter tallied in favor of the home team in the 1st period respectively for Philadelphia’s two goals. In the 2nd period, the only goal was scored by Danny Briere (who's been on fire lately), who deflected a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to give the hometown crowd thoughts of home ice advantage. Unfortunately for Flyers fans, Sean Avery tied the game early in the 3rd period off of a nice pass from Scott Gomez and blasted a slapper past Marty Biron to even out the score at 3 a piece. Then, just before the halfway mark of the 3rd period, Blair Betts put in his own rebound past Biron to give the Rangers the 4-3 advantage that they would never relinquish.
I'm pretty sure that most Rangers fans enjoyed sticking it to the Flyers in such a crucial game for home ice. It must have been especially satisfying since many doomsayers in the media were saying, “Wouldn’t Philly just love to end the Rangers season”? We all know how tough it is to win in Pittsburgh, don't we? Wink! Wink! It’ll definitely be a tough go around for Philly to advance in the playoffs.
Anyhow, the Rangers are definitely on a roll now heading into the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Ovechkins. Avery's on his game, Gomez and Drury have picked up their games big-time, and "The King" is still in net for the Rangers. They are definitely in a good place in their minds right now. Oh yeah, speaking of Avery... Do you think Lupul will get a good look from the league for the hit from behind late in the game on Avery? I won't hold my breath. Just a thought. Over and out!