No, that is not a real word but it should be one. Big thanx to Henrik Lundqvist for backing up Friday's blog with another stellar performance against the Devils. He has now given up only 22 goals in 13 starts and seems to be playing the best goal in the NHL along with Pascal LeClaire.
Once again the Rangers had difficulty putting the puck in, scoring only 1 goal in regualtion. It came in the 2nd period after a Prucha shot was stopped and kicked out of the crease by Brodeur. The puck ended up on the stick of Gomez who rifled one just over the right pad of an off balance Brodeur. Mental error there by Brodeur who attempted to kick the puck out of the zone but ended up passing it right to Gomez.
The Devils answered only 33 seconds later as the Devils scored a typical "NHL 08" goal. The puck was carried around the net and passed to a cutting Sergei Brylin who pushed it passed the right pad of a sprawling Lundqvist. Really the fault of the defense who did not pressure along the boards and lost track of a wide-open Brylin.
The game, which started out as fast-paced (quite atypical of the NJ Boredoms), progressed into a grinding battle for the second half of the game. In overtime the Rangers got a 4 on 3 power play for the last 25 seconds but could not score.
In the shootout, Lundqvist stopped all three Devils masterfully, primarily using his quick feet. All that was needed was a quick deke by Petr Prucha and the Rangers captured there 3rd straight win and 4 out of the last 5. They seem to be playing a better complete hockey game on all ends of the ice but are still lacking that goal-scoring finish on offense.
Lundqvist was sensational once again, the best save coming off a quick high shot early in the game. He got a piece of it with his glove and with him falling backwards and the airborne puck heading on goal, he swatted it away with his glove. This left the fans at MSG with slack jaws and chants of HEN-RIK (after getting over the initial shock). Overall, he was strong, postioned well and gave up only 1 goal (not his fault) in 65+ minutes of work.
The Devils came out stronger than in last weeks 2-0 shutout loss but could not generate much sustained offensive pressure. The team is officially 2-0-1 according to Coach Brent Sutter, who began "counting" after game 10, beginning with the win against Toronto. The team, and especially Brodeur, looks sharper and could really benefit from the return of Colin White.
The Rangers took a big step forward, improving to a .500 record at 6-6-1. They take a 3 game winning streak and some momentum into back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday.
I should be blogging after every game for the rest of the season so I hope you all enjoy. Go Rangers!