New York Rangers Drop Home Opener 4-3 In Overtime (UPDATE Gaborik Out 2-3 Weeks, Drury Out 6 Weeks)
Update: And here comes the bad news, from Rangers Report:
rangersreport Gaborik out 2-3 wks with sep. shoulder, Drury out 6 wks with brolen finger... Same finger, different break.
In what turned out to be the most entertaining home opener in recent memory, the New York Rangers lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime 4-3. The Rangers, who mounted a two goal comeback in the third period, and rode two Brian Boyle goals, saw their record fall to 1-1-1 on the season.
The Rangers, who were without Marian Gaborik (shoulder) and Chris Drury (broken finger) for most of the game, were able to find their scoring touch late in the game. The game started off well enough for the Rangers, who went up 1-0 on a Michal Rozsival goal. Although the Rangers finished the first period with the lead, they probably considered themselves lucky to do so. The Leafs controlled the play, thoroughly outshot the Rangers and won nearly every battle in the corner.
The second period went the same way; expect this time the Leafs found the back of the net. The Leafs would dominate the entire period getting goals from Clarke MacArther, Mike Komisarek and Phil Kessel in a span of six minutes. The Leafs would leave the second period with a 30-12 advantage in shots. I don't think I need to go into any more detail about how good Henrik Lundqvist was tonight.
The Rangers Boyle finally decided to play in the third period, and started to tilt the tables in the Rangers favor. Boyle ripped an absolutely beautiful snap-shot from the slot to cut the deficit to 3-2. Then, after an interesting series of events which saw the Rangers kill off a five-on-three disadvantage, Boyle ripped another shot home from the slot to knot the score at three.
The Rangers, mainly due to some Lundqvist heroics, managed to drag the game to overtime. But three minutes into the extra frame Marc Staal took an interference penalty putting the Leafs on their seventh power play. The Leafs -- who had gone 0-6 in their previous power play opportunities -- won the game on a Kessel goal with less than two minutes remaining.
Join me after the jump for my "Empty Netters."
- Let's start with Sean Avery. Avery finished the game with two assists, and was flying all night. His slash on Komisarek after the whistle, however, was a blatant cheap shot; and the NHL will probably give him a suspension. I completely endorse this, I normally have Avery's back for his antics but this crossed the line. There was no need for it, it gave the Maple Leafs a potentially deadly power play opportunity and put the Rangers in a bad spot.
- Michael Del Zotto registered an assist on the second Boyle goal, and had a great bounce-back game defensively. He made a few great plays down the stretch to keep the puck away from the deadly hands, and made some nice clears when they needed to be made. Dan Girardi can also be added to the "bounce-back category," he had a great game as well.
- The concern, obviously, has nothing to do with the lost point, but the lost 40 goal scorer. Gaborik's shoulder injury is still a little clouded in mystery and the Ranger fan base is obviously holding their collective breath. Let's hope that he is OK.
- The other injury concern is on Drury, and early indications are that he broke his finger again. No word on whether it was the same finger he broke in the pre-seaon or a different one. This injury isn't as big of a concern as Gaborik's, but the Islander's game proved that he has a use on this team.
- Matt Gilroy, who Ranger fans cried for after the Steve Eminger chronicles against the Islanders, didn't exactly let the Ranger faithful welcome him with open arms. Gilroy had a few good moments, but for the most part he was out of position and made a few pretty poor decisions. Don't take too much stock into this since it's his first game back, but he will be someone to watch.
- Let's go over Derek Boogaard for a moment. He isn't not fighting because he doesn't want to, he isn't fighting because other guys aren't fighting him. Either way he isn't being utilized effectively and it's a problem right now.
- The Rangers stole a point tonight, no doubt about that. The Leafs are a very good team, and they outplayed the Rangers tonight, big time. Thank Lundqvist for the point, and move forward, that's my attitude.
OK guys, have at this one. I'm sure there will be a lot to talk about.