NYR 2, Senators 1 (SO)
With the New York Rangers coming off a two-game losing slump, NYR Goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist pulled out a win against the Ottawa Senators in the shootout, the game winning goal by 'called up Hartford Wolfpack P.A. Parenteau.' The Blueshirts are now 2-0 against the scrappy Senators and now look a healthy 11-8-1 this season. Though not perfect, this afternoon treat provided a crack of optimism after the two day slump I've suffered having witnessed the Rangers loss to Atanta on Thursday night. But allow me to throw a little DARK into the 'win'.
Official recap here.
It was a blue-collar game full of cheap hits, half-hearted forechecking, scrappy playmaking, evenly matched and questionable defense on both ends. After some redeeming games, former Senator and now pricey-Ranger-defending Wade Redden was up to his old tricks again. You 'old dog you! Thirteen minutes into the first period, the most exciting moment (if you live in Ottawa) was seeing Wade expose the neutral zone allowing an easy Kovalov feed to Jonathan Cheechoo breakaway straight at Henrik Lundqvist. Blocked! Thanks to Henrik's demi-God instincts, a goal was denied. After 240 career games as a Senator, I wonder how Wade Redden felt being invisible on the ice? That's rhetorical.
"No worries Wade, two baby NHL rookies were there covering our 'Alfredsson and Spezza'-plagued blueline when you and Rozsival realized you were actually wearing ice skates with your pants down." - TDR
Although I think the neutered Sean Avery is trying to find his new role as part of this bionic Blueshirts squad, he did agitate and play a strong puck-moving game. More essential, our boys-in-blue defended Avery, multiple Otta-weenie melees against Sean followed by 'Blueshirt Retaliation'. This is refreshing, especially in light of how Avery has allegedly not been getting along with his locker-room.
The third period was gritty and fun to watch. It was anyone's game to win. Both teams never resembled anything compared with the first and second period -- another nail biter. This level of nervous energy led to overtime, which led to the dreaded shootout skills competition.
With more than five failed shootout attempts by both Rangers and Senators, 'commuter' Parenteau was asked by coach John Tortorella whether or not he was any good at the shootout. What else is the guy going to say? So with that, P.A. flipped a nice goal in the top right corner and took the deciding goal. P-A-R-E-N-T-E-A-U!!!! A good performance by a call-up, despite the game winning goal, no one watching will forgive him for missing the wide open feed with 3 minutes left in the third period, but overall, a solid performance.
So Rangers fans, sleep well knowing that we have three days off before our playoff nemesis steps into the Garden on Tuesday night. The Big 'O' hopefully will wake up Tuesday morning not feeling up to the challenge which will be fine with all of us. Sleep well knowing that the team looks the same with Drury and Dubinsky out on injured reserve, so remember that we are a highly coached team with a system that should work - plus an elite goalkeeper who always keeps us in the rankings.
Let's go Rangers fans! Enjoy the weekend.