Joined in the FIRST PERIOD:
We just had a Chris Drury MOMENT!! It came in the first period during a four minute power-play, that we're still on at 11:30 left.
The Flyers scored very early on a horrible turn-over by Staal high in the slot in his own end. A fore-checking Richards batted down a pass in the high slot and put a wrister past Henrik's high left shoulder only 40 seconds into the match. It was Richard's 30th of the season.
I told my son, "Don't worry. We'll get that one back." Thank You Chris Drury, for making me look smart.
It could be very different right now though. Right after the Flyers scored, 19 seconds later Voros was whistled for a penalty to put Philly on the Power Play. The Rangers tapped into their inner Matrix/Neo and dodged a bullet; then tied it.
GOAL!!! Right off the face-off!!
From a face-off in the right circle, Shelley picked up a stray puck and scored at 10:13 from Prust and Anisimov!! Rangers 2, Flyers 1 !!!
Prust with another point and more scoring from players not named Gaborik. Nice! There's 2:02 left in the 1st period. Aside from the Staal turn-over the D is looking solid. Shelley's goal was his first as a Ranger.
..and the first period ends.
The first period can be summed up with the Carsillo double minor for high sticking and the Rangers scoring on the ensuing power play courtesy of a Mr. Chris Drury. The Rangers are chasing down pucks knowing a Flyer is zeroing in on them. In a must have game, when they could have easily been deflated like the crowd was early, the BlueShirts showed some gumption. It looks like they want Sunday's game in Philly to mean something. Forty minutes to go.
(In between period Commentary - The Rangers had us scratching our heads all winter by not bring back Betts and Colton Orr. Through-out the season their absence was noticeable. Prust and Shelley were late acquisitions. They've filled their roles very nicely, and then some. They came a little too late (trade deadline acquisitions) to keep us away from a situation like we face tonight and hopefully Sunday.)
We start - In the first four minutes, so far we're spending a lot of quality time possessing the puck in the Flyer zone. I've noticed the Rangers are still committed to two men in on the fore-check with the third man high. It's been effective.
Even though Carter dressed and is playing tonight, his minutes are minimal. There was speculation he might not play for Philly tonight.
Voros, aside from committing his stick infraction early in the first to put the Rangers in a precarious penalty kill, is playing inspired. He's all over the place tonight.
Rangers continue to win face-offs.
Gaborik rushes down the right side, skates towards net, PASSES BACK to Dubunsky and the Rangers SCORE!!! @ 6:58 into the 2nd the Rangers lead 3-1!! What a rush, puck handling pass the blue line! Dubinsky was trailing the rush and went straight down the slot slapping a stuffer through.
AAAHrrr!! Philly scores!!! Carsillo goes towards the net hard and draws Blueshirts with him, Briere one times a pass from Gagne and the Flyers score. There's 10:32 left in the second period with the score Rangers 3-Flyers2. One minute twenty eight seconds after the Dubinsky goal, the Flyers are back within one goal again
Alright!!! Its a Rangers/Flyers game NOW!! They took a swipe at Henrik after crashing the net and a couple of face washes and a few punches we thrown. No connections...no penalties. Yea, it's getting the feel and that vibe.
The Flyers are picking up their fore-check and are putting the pressure on. They are pushing the play. And Callahan is headed back to the dressing room with 5:30 left.
Richardson on a BREAKAWAY and he SCORES. He picked off a Rozsival pass in the neutral zone and barreled in. Looked like Henrik stopped it, but the puck trickled in off Rozsival's skate who trailed the play. So, it didn't go in on the initial shot by Richards, Henrik didn't conrol the rebound but Rozsival got in the way. Great! Game tied The assist by Pronger. Time left 4:09.
WHAT??? Rangers score?!! YES!!! Pronger shoots and a long rebound gets sent into the Philly zone and Gaborik racing up ice for it gets off an awkward shot and scores unassisted!! Rangers are back up 4-3 with 2:43 to go!! Let's go BlueShirts.
There's been a few moments tonight to give a fan reason to get down. The Rangers keep picking them up!!
Under a minute,,,10 seconds....TIME. A very wacky second period ends with the Rangers loosing their lead and forging a new one. The score after 40 minutes of ice time Rangers 4 - Flyers 3.
Second period Ends
Richards scored on his second conversion of a bad Ranger turnover. They've been taking good care of the puck tonight but both times Richards was so alone off the muff. I'm thinking if the Philly goal tending situation wasn't such a mess, how different this game might be?
There's twenty more minutes of hockey tonight. The question is will there be meaningful hockey Sunday?
By 9:45p.m. we should be able to answer that.
I just heard a nice point made. Shelley and Prust are here. Kotalik and Higgins aren't. That's a very very good point. As I wrote earlier, I referenced Orr and Betts in regards to the new Blueshirt pair.
Three minutes in....a clean game. No penalties since the first period. I think even strength favors the Rangers.
Voros has worked hard all night. Gaborik just cross-ckecked Briere 3 times after the whistle without a penalty after Briere speared him pretty nicely. Pronger is doing his typical yapping.
And here we go. A hook on Coburn. Rangers are going on the power play at 14:35 left.
one minute in...no shot. C'mon ...Richards gains our zone short handed. Rangers never could set up for a shot. Two minutes over...no shots. They never actually controlled the puck. SEE!? Even strength is how the Rangers have to win this.
12:27 to go in the third.
WHAT!!!???? Boucher came out of his net to play the puck and almost put it in his own net!!! Then Shelley was there and almost scored if not for a miracle stick save by Boucher to save HIMSELF! UNBELIEVABLE.
In the mean time a penalty on Hartnell puts the Rangers on the power play again...40 seconds in no shot yet. This special teams unit is just so feeble. NO SHOTS again!
9 minutes left FIGHT!! GIRARDI DECKS HARTNELL!!!!! Girardi is angry like we don't normally see Girardi. HARNELL got the worst of that exchange.
Both get 5 for fighting.
Even strength the Rangers just put about 3 shots on net; quality shots. Penalty on NY! Voros touches. A late hit by Voros.
6:00 left to go.....one minute left in the PP. Cleared! Save and a save! Flyers with about 4 shots on goal on this PP. SAVE LUNDQVIST!! and another!
PP since over. Rangers pestering Flyer zone. Flyers gain the puck, rush down and gain the zone. Buzzing Lundqvist and Henrik stuffs the Flyers spread out on the ice. Then there's scrum to the side of the net as Henrik flings the puck in defiance up ice.!!
Face off to the right of Henrik. This game is action packed. Coming up on 3 minutes left.
Boucher makes a save on Anisimov and holds on. 2:30 left. Rangers dump for a change
Save Henrik. Minute and 1/2 to go. Boucher will be pulled at some point. He's off the ice!
ONE MINUTE....Puck in Rangers zone. Cleared...no icing. Save Lundqvist. Shot wide!!! Cleared!
5 seconds!!!! TIME!!!!
THERE"S LIFE. HEAR THAT PHILLY? WE're coming to town.
Henrik did cartwheels down the stretch.!! 7-1-1 in our last 9 games. They sputtered out of the gate tonight.
The rebounded strongly faced with some diversity and held on long enough for Henrik to keep them on the winning side. That's two more points in the standings and one step closer to the playoffs!! It doesn't matter what Boston does in Carolina now. All the Rangers have to do is win on Sunday.
The last seven months boils down to 60 minutes and about 2 and a half hours of viewing time this weekend. NHL detractors like to argue the NHL season doesn't mean much. It's watered down they say. Well put on your bathing suit then cause I'm jumpin in! Our next playoff game is in Philly Sunday at 2pm. Our trip to the playoffs starts on the New Jersey Turnpike. Let's left lane this bad boy like Smokey and the Bandit boyz and bring some more home games back to the Garden.
Cha-ching!! Consider my tease paid in full. Let's Go Rangers!!
Trolley Blogger out!