Our beloved Blueshirts looked to bounce back from an embarrassing 7-3 shellacking at the expense of the Devils last night. The plan didn’t go so well. The Rangers came out sloppy in the first, playing sluggish and lackadaisical hockey, and wound up down 2-0 at the end of the first. Oh to be a fly on the wall during that intermission. Because whatever coach John Tortorella said, worked.
The Rangers came out much better in the second, and a Marian Gaborik powerplay tally cut the lead in half before Ales Kotalik was sprung on a breakaway by a beautiful outlet pass from Dan Girardi, tying the game at two a piece. That was the loudest the Garden would get during the game, especially because it came during a period that the Rangers are generally outplayed.
The Rangers and Devils exchanged chances in the third period, before strong board play by Zach Parise led to the game winner. Parise gained the puck along the boards and just threw it at the net, where Danius Zubrus tipped it past Lundqvist. This was not a very good tip, nor was it a surprise to see Zubrus in front of the net. That is a goal that Hank should have stopped, and while not on the same severity of the Nik Backstrom goal, was very weak. The tip barely changed the direction of the puck, and didn’t elevate it at all. A very weak goal to say the least.
The Rangers had their chance to tie the game late in the third, but some timely defense, including three blocked shots by the Devils in a row with Brodeur out of position, sealed the deal for the Devils. Ryan Callahan was not tripped on the breakaway by Colin White, who got all puck on the dive.
The Rangers are coming back to Earth after a seven game winning streak. Starting the season 7-3-0 is still a great start to the season, but the Rangers need to start playing 60 minutes of hockey, not 20-40.