No Habs No: Rangers Thump Canadiens 6-3
[Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, 03/18/11 10:19 PM EDT John Tortorella has told the media that Lundqvist is ok]
The Rangers rode a first period offensive outburst to a 6-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens that unfortunately left Ranger fans worried about a possible injury to their star goaltender.
Henrik Lundqvist went down hard in the third period when Steve Eminger and Benoit Pouliot bowled into him. Henrik was down on the ice for several minutes, but stayed in the game, despite being obviously feeling the ill effects. John Tortorella kept Marc Staal on Girardi on the ice for most of the remainder of the game to protect Henrik.
A high flying first period that had Artem Anisimov getting the Rangers on the board with a breakaway goal five minutes in, beating Montreal goaltender Carey Price with a beautiful backhander. The Rangers lead was short-lived, as P.K. Subban tied the game just over ninety seconds later. But the Rangers were just getting warmed up.
With good luck charm Eddie Gieck in attendance, Dan Girardi got the Rangers back on top, scoring his fourth of the year, third with Eddie in attendance. If Eddie had season tickets, Girardi might be a Norris Trophy candidate.
With just under three minutes remaining in the first, Ryan Callahan scored a goal after a scrum in front of the net. The play was originally ruled no goal, but after review, it was clear that the puck had crossed the goal line after it appeared to bounce of Price.
Thirty two ticks later, Marian Gaborik continued to show signs of breaking out by scoring his twenty first of the season. Bryan Boyle would add his twenty first as well just a half minute later, giving the Rangers three goals in a minute seven, and a 5-1 lead going into the second. Price's night was also done at this point, he was replaced by former Ranger Alex Auld. Price gave up five goals on just twelve shots.
James Wisniewski scored for Montreal early in the second, a shot Henrik Lundqvist would love to have back. The rest of the second period was uneventful, except for Subban taking a run at Lundqvist, and then turning tail and running when Mike Sauer wanted to fight. Subban did a good job of pretending he wanted to fight, skating away, throwing his gloves down when he was far enough away from Sauer, and the refs were getting between them. My mother would say "That kid need's a beating", here's hoping one day he gets it.
Things got a little tighter in the third. Brian Gionta pulled the Habs within two with a goal just fifty four seconds in. The Rangers were clearly back on their heels at this point, and a nervousness had settled in among Ranger fans.
Lundqvist made an absolutely spectacular save while sprawled on the ice with four minutes to go before going down about a minute later.