Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nikky Z Comes Through

On a night where the Rangers were looking for some revenge for last year's 2nd round loss to the Penguins, they sure did it with irony. The Penguins came back in Game 1 of the series to beat the Rangers...fitting that the Rangers do the same in the first meeting of the season between the two teams. 
The Penguins got out to an early lead with a Darryl Sydor shot bouncing off two different Rangers before finding its way behind Henrik Lundqvist. It really was all Penguins for the first two frames of this game as Sidney Crosby scored their second goal when a loose puck was found behind Lundqvist. 2-0 Pittsburgh. All seemed lost when the Rangers could not convert on a 2 minute 5 on 3 advantage at the end of the 2nd period.
But Petr Prucha drew another penalty in the third period and the Rangers took advantage. Scott Gomez found Markus Naslund in front of the net and Naslund smacked it through Marc Andre-Fleury. 2-1. The third period continued with back and forth play. The Rangers pulled Lundqvist with less than a minute to go and needed a goal. Chris Drury right? Nope. Nikolai Zherdev took a pass and went down the right wing side and fired a wrist shot high glove side on Fleury with 8.1 seconds left. Tie game. We are going to OT.
In overtime it was Sidney Crosby vs Henrik Lundqvist for the most part. Crosby had plenty of chances to end the game but Lundqvist denied him and his Penguins time and again including a cross crease save and an unbelievable glove save. To the shootout we go.
Zherdev and Nigel Dawes both tried low stick side shots on Fleury which he easily stopped. Lundqvist stopped Kris Letang on the first shot and then Petr Sykora. Fredrik Sjostrom was the third Ranger shooter and the Sjo delivered. Forehand, backhand and a quick flick slipped the puck under the pad of Fleury. Whether Freddie was looking to lift the puck up or not is unknown but he scored. 
Sidney Crosby vs Henrik Lundqvist....again. Game on the line. Crosby needs to score to keep Pittsburgh alive. He moves in and stops skating, choosing to try and wait Lundqvist out which is something not very many people have been able to do. Crosby can't as his move to the backhand is stopped by Lundqvist. 
A huge victory for the Rangers who continue their great start as they move to 8-2-1 on the season. Their next game is tomorrow night on Long Island as they take on the New York Islanders for the first time this season. 

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