Rangers Rumors & News
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The Rangers were 8.1 seconds away from losing to Pittsburgh when Nikolai Zherdev ripped a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game at two, sending it to overtime. The contest ended up in a shootout, and Fredrik Sjostrom scored the lone goal to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory.

What a game. There was end-to-end action, great goaltending, heroics from Zherdev and the NHL’s ultimate crybaby, Sidney Crosby, was sent packing in defeat. The Penguins opened up the scoring in the first, when Darryl Sydor pinballed the puck off Michal Rozsival and Dmitri Kalinin into the net. Crosby made it 2-0 in the second. Things didn’t look good for the Blueshirts when they couldn’t even score on a two-minute five on three. They banged out seven shots but couldn’t find the back of the net. Maybe they shot too much. They probably should have been more patient and tried to set up better quality shots.

The Rangers headed into the third down by two. But they came out flying and completely dominated the period. They outshot the Penguins 18-2. During a power play, Markus Naslund took a nice pass from Scott Gomez and got the Rangers on the board. Naslund is coming to life right before our eyes. He now has nine points (three goals, six assists). Fleury was the only thing keeping Pittsburgh from coughing up the lead. But with time dwindling, Crosby missed an empty net, and the Rangers scooped up the puck and headed up the ice for one last desperate shot. Zherdev flew into Pittsburgh’s zone and top-shelfed the tying goal. We’ve now seen his awesome talent come to fruition the last two games.  He has four goals, five assists and is a team-high plus-eight. Jagr who?

In overtime, it was the Henrik Lundqvist show. He made one circus save after another to keep the Rangers alive. And was his usual brick wall in the shootout. In all he made 27 saves in the game. He’s now 6-2 with a 1.99 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Tom Renney, back behind the bench after getting clunked in the head and spending Friday night in Munchkin Land (“There’s no place like the Garden; there’s no place like the Garden”), sent out Zherdev, Nigel Dawes and Sjostrom again. The same three he chose against Toronto. Zherdev and Dawes skated in with no fakes or dekes and were stopped by Fleury. I think they need to apply themselves more next time. But that just left things for the team’s secret weapon – Fredrik Sjostrom. After beating Toronto in a shootout, he did it again last night.

Rozsival made a great play in the second period on Evgeni Malkin. Malkin came in one on one, and the Rangers defenseman didn’t go for any of his fakes, stuck to him like glue and the Penguins star couldn’t even get a shot off. Chris Drury and Petr Prucha can’t buy a goal but they sure play hard. The Rangers’ first goal was set up by a hustling Prucha, who drew a penalty. Naslund scored on the subsequent power play. It’s time to let Prucha play more than one game in a row.

The Blueshirts are now 8-2-1 and in first place with 17 points. Next game: Monday against the Islanders on the Island.

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