The New York Rangers couldn't have lost two points any other way tonight, but it took a ridiculous bounce off of stanchion, and right on to the stick of David Clarkson. There was absolutely defensive lapse, or anyone's fault, it was just a bad bounce at the right time for the Devils.
After a fairly even first period, Anton Stralman finally got the Rangers on the board, with just over 30 seconds remaining in the period. Marian Gaborik's original shot was blocked, and fluttered over to Stralman who had an empty cage. The Rangers would head into the locker room with a 1-0 lead, one they wouldn't be complaining about.
Just eight minutes into the second period, Zach Parise got his own rebound, and put it over the shoulder of Martin Biron. That goal would tie up the game, and make way for a very energetic finish to the second period.
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Just two minutes into the third period, Brian Boyle got the go-ahead goal that beat a sprawling Martin Brodeur. A point shot from Stu Bickel took a bounce off of a player in front, and landed right on the stick of the open man Boyle. With just under five minutes left in the third period, Artem Anisimov took a very lazy holding call in the defensive zone.
Ilya Kovalchuk would eventually strike on the power play with 4:35 remaining in regulation. However, just 36 seconds later, Marian Gaborik would make an excellent pass over to Michael Del Zotto, who snapped it under the arm of Brodeur.
Things started looking up for the Rangers, as they were able to battle back, and regain the lead once again. The hockey gods were clearly not on their sides tonight, as in the final 30 seconds, a horrendous bounce would cost them two points.
Andy Greene would fire in the puck, which wrapped around the glass, and took a strange bounce off of the stanchion. The bounce was nothing but perfect, as it directed right in front of the net to the wide-open David Clarkson. Clarkson shoveled it five-hole, and the game was tied, and it would need to be decided in overtime.
In overtime, Derek Stepan had a golden opportunity to tuck in the game winner, but it glided from post to post, across the goal line. The game would still remain tied after overtime, and we were off to a shootout. Ilya Kovalchuk was the first Devil shooter, which beat Biron through the five-hole.
Looking at the replay, Biron made that way to easy for Kovalchuk, and even Ilya admitted it. "I don't know what he was thinking", Kovalchuk stated after the game. The Rangers shooters were Derek Stepan, Brad Richards, and Marian Gaborik, all of which failed on their attempts.
I don't completely agree with the shooters, as I believe guys like Carl Hagelin or Brandon Dubinsky should have been given a shot. With the loss, the Rangers still remain atop of the Eastern Conference by a single point. The Rangers will be back at it tomorrow night as they will be visiting the Buffalo Sabres, in Buffalo.