The New York Rangers finally opened at home in front of a buzzing Madison Square Garden crowd tonight. Unfortunately , it wasn't the outcome the Garden faithful wanted. The Rangers came out flying to start the first period, and finally got on the board early coming from Dan Girardi.
The puck scrambled out from in front of the net, and Girardi let a blast go from the top of the circles, which beat Gustavsson through the five-hole. Shortly, after the Rangers would put in two more goals, but they were both waived off almost instantly.
The first goal waived off, was clearly goalie interference on Ryan Callahan. Although, the second one could have gone either way. Callahan was pushed from behind, by the Toronto defenseman, which caused him to bump into the goalie. I personally thought it should have counted.
Follow after the jump for more.At the end of the first period, the Rangers had doubled up Toronto, in shots, and definitely carried the momentum into the locker rooms. Although, that momentum died rather quickly in the second period. Just about a minute into the second period, Matthew Lombardi tied the game up for the Leafs.
It was definitely a goal Henrik Lundqvist would want back. The pucks found it's way between the post, and Hank's arm, and slipped into the back of the net. But it didn't stop there, things went from bad to worse in the third period. After registering 16 shots in the first period, the Rangers were limited to seven in the final two periods.
In the third period, the Leafs scored three straight goals, coming from Joffrey Lupul, Clarke MacArthur, and Mike Brown. Michael Del Zotto tallied the final goal of the game, on a point shot through traffic. The fact that the Rangers were held to less shots combined the final two periods, than in the first period is a glaring problem.
In the first period, the Rangers came out firing, and put every puck on the net. From there, the Rangers tried to be too fancy, and wanted to setup that "perfect" play. Again, shooting everything was the key tonight. Notice how both Ranger goals came from outside the circles. Both were just fired at the net, and found a hole. The Rangers got away from shooting in the final two frames, and that killed them.
Henrik Lundqvist was solid to start off the game, and turned away two Phil Kessel breakaways. Although, the defense didn't really support Hank as much tonight, and often left him out to dry.
Although he scored tonight, Michael Del Zotto was just awful, to put it bluntly. He turned over the puck (per usual), made lazy plays (per usual), and just made awful passes (per usual). Overall it was a terrible game, the Rangers started great, but died real quick.
We can all but hope they fair better against the Ottawa Senators, this Saturday at 3:00 PM.