Before we move ahead to tonight's game against the Senators, let's take a look at night's game against Buffalo:
- I thought last night's game may have been Sean Avery's best as a Ranger. I know he had the two goal game against the Flyers last week, but I thought last night was just a little better. He was hitting everyone in sight, flying all over the ice, picked up an assist on Zherdev's goal (originally credited to Avery), and stayed out of the sin bin. Every game he seems to get in better and better "game shape"; and I think his best hockey of the season is still ahead of him.
- It was pretty obvious the Rangers were coasting at 4-1 when they came out for the 3rd period. When Buffalo got the early goal, Torts was visibly miffed. The Rangers keep preaching 60 minutes, but they've got to prove it on the ice. This game wound up being closer than it should have been, and a better team than Buffalo might have found a way to steal this one.
- During the open game thread last night, tmranger made a good point, and it bears repeating here: Markus Naslund leads the team in goals, but he's really been pretty invisible the rest of the time.
- It was good to see the refs take somewhat of a "let em play" attitude last night. There was a lot of borderline stuff from both teams, but the refs seemed to realize it was an important game, and loosened the reigns a bit.
- Patrick Lalime has given up 10 goals in his last 5 periods of play. If I am Scott Gomez, I wouldn't expect forgiveness from Northwestern NY anytime soon.
- At first I thought the early hit on Gomez was pretty cheap, but after I watched it a few times on the Tivo, it was fairly tame. I do think Pominville was taking a run at Lundy though, he just did a decent job of making it look "accidental"
All in all, a good win, plenty to be happy about.
A few notes from around the NHL:
- The Panthers had a 1-0 lead with 2:46 to play against Columbus last night. The Blue Jackets scored at 17:14 of the 3rd to tie it, 18:27 to take the lead, and an empty netter at 19:41. A 1-0 victory turns into a 3-1 loss in the blink of an eye. Ouch. The Panthers missed a golden opportunity to leapfrog the Hapless Habs.
- Tough night for Brad Richards of the Stars. He comes back after missing 15 games with a wrist injury, and promptly breaks his other wrist.