Boston Sports Day

Bruins Not Enough for Rangers

NEW YORK – Last year – at this time – the Rangers would have lost this game.

Down two goals late in the third, usually meant certain defeat for the Blueshirts, especially to another top team in the conference.

Not anymore.

Thanks to late goals by Nigel Dawes and Markus Naslund, and then a favorable replay in the shootout, the Rangers pulled a 3-2 win out of the hat over the red hot Boston Bruins.

“Again, another good comeback,” said Ranger captain Chris Drury, who had the only tally in the shootout to ultimately give his team the win. “We had some good momentum and some good chances even in the last 50 seconds of overtime. The shootout can go either way and I am glad we got it.”

Actually the shootout had to have help from the NHL offices in Toronto. Two of the shots were reviewed, with Henrik Lundqvist’s final stop on Patrice Bergeron in the fourth round ultimately getting the thumbs-up. What was originally ruled a goal was clearly shown as a miss that hit the post. After a two minute review, the Rangers were declared the winner.

“We had some help whether it was in,” said coach Tom Renney “We felt pretty confident when a Cablevision employee told us we were in pretty good shape.”

The shootout win cumulated a frantic comeback over the last 6:05 of the third and the overtime. After making – and paying for – mistakes in the second, the team regrouped and took it to the Bruins in the third. And Dawes was able to strike first which energized the Garden.

The third line of Lauri Korpikoski, Dan Fritsche and Dawes played very well in the final period and moved the puck effortlessly in the zone. Fritsche first brought the puck behind the net and passed it to Korpikoski, who found Dawes in front of the net. The left wing was able to knock it by Tim Thomas, for one of the two blemishes on his 29 save effort.

“We were keeping it pretty simple,” Dawes said. “We are just getting pucks on the net and any of us should have been the one to get the ball rolling.”

Even with a noble effort, the Rangers still were behind going into the final minute of play. That’s when Naslund took over with 52.9 seconds left. Paul Mara was to move the puck into the zone and Brandon Dubinsky found the Swedish left wing, who knocked it by Thomas to tie the score.

Although the Rangers had their chances in overtime, the game went to a shootout. It looked like Dawes scored leading off with Thomas going into the net with the puck, but the review was inconclusive. So it took a fourth round laser by Drury, who went 5-hole on Thomas, to give the Blueshirts the ultimate game winner.

“I was thinking shoot first and if there was nothing there, I was going to deke,” Drury said.

Of course, the comeback was due to the Rangers playing sloppy in the second, especially defenseman Michal Rozsival. Two times he gave away the puck which resulted in goals by Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman – the second coming shorthanded – to put the Rangers in the hole. For his efforts, Rozsival was minus-2 and booed by the Garden crowd.

“I’m disappointed that he gets what he’s getting right now,” Renney said, “because he’s a hell of a human being, he’s a great teammate, he’s a damn good player and has been from the moment he got here.”

Rozsival’s woes are stories for another day, because the comeback kids were able to pull one out at the Garden.

Notes: The Ranger win broke the Bruins five game winning streak…The Rangers now lead the east – and the Bruins – by four points…Scott Gomez was out for the second straight game with a leg injury…It’s Canada week at the Garden next week with Naslund’s former team, the Vancouver Canucks, coming in Monday and the Ottawa Senators – Wade Redden’s erstwhile digs – visiting Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *