NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 11: Marc Staal #18 Michael Sauer #38 Ruslan Fedotenko #19 and Brandon Prust #8 of the New York rangers celebrate Fedotenko's first period goal against the Buffalo Sabres of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 11 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
After deserving a better fate against the Blues and Capitals, the Rangers needed a win tonight. Artem Anisimov answered the call delivering the game winning goal in overtime by picking a corner on Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth. Anisimov also tallied the go ahead goal in the second period giving him two for the night.
Henrik Lundqvist was slated to start the game but showed up to the rink under the weather. In a change of plans, Marty Biron got the nod and he didn't disappoint. For his second start in the row Biron was strong in goal and made a number of key saves down the stretch. It's common to see a game breaking goal on one side of the rink follow a big time save on the flip side. Biron stood tall on a a rush by Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy giving the Rangers a second life and the opportunity for Anisimov to seal the deal.
Marian Gaborik made his long awaited return to lineup and it doesn't appear that he's missed a step. He was once again a standing threat every time he touched the puck. He took a number of solid hits throughout the game and it doesn't seem as though there are any lingering affects from his shoulder injury (knock on wood.. seriously).
The Rangers will be looking for a win against the Oilers on Sunday to bring themselves back to .500 on their current home-stand.
- Ruslan Fedotanko has been a good soldier for the Rangers this year. He's done the dirty work and has played some real honest hockey. His grunt work along the boards in overtime led to the game winner and it was great to see him notch the Rangers first goal. It's a damn shame the men in stripes keep stealing goals from him (i'll get to that).
- These next few games are going to be vital to Matt GIlroy's tenure as a Ranger. With Rozsival out he will need to prove his worth, especially with Steve Eminger and in particular Michael Sauer playing well. Sauer had yet another strong game and absolutely mashed Prince Dirtbag Pat Kaleta in the second period. Jim claims Kaleta was crying on the bench, I can't confirm that but I certainly will not deny it either.
- If Alex Frolov misses one more empty net, one more gimme goal, or one more "I could have put that in" goal, he might want to consider turning in his hockey stick and calling it a day. I understand the guy is struggling. I understand he's gripping the stick too hard, but enough is enough. Frolov needs a puck to bounce off his ass or something to get over the hump.
Ahh now to the referees. It's becoming a theme, every time I write up a post-game there needs to be a special section devoted to a bonehead play by one of the four blind mice. I'll begin by asking this question.. What is the point of video replay if it isn't used? On what should have been a good Fedotanko goal, the puck had been in the net for a good five seconds before the whistle was blown. Intent or no intent, it should not take that long for a ref to blow a play dead and it is unprofessional and irresponsible to not goto video review on that play. It is no different than the waved off Fedotanko goal against the Capitals or the waived off Frolov goal against the Blues, they were all different degrees of bad calls that could have been solved with video review. Additionally, Tyler Ennis' goal in the second period was yet another blown call. Derek Roy had drawn a high sticking penalty and Biron had more than enough possession of the puck for the play to be blown dead. He certainty had more control over the puck than in the phantom high stick fiasco against the Blues. It's incredibly frustrating seeing the officials botch call after the call the past week or so. It seems apparent to me that the game has become too fast for what is mostly old men (by hockey standards) to consistently make the right call.