Derick Brassard

Rangers 4, Penguins 2, OT

The New York Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by the score of 4-2 in overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, tonight. The Rangers lead the series 1-0. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.

…all I have to say is thank God Pouliot also scored in overtime, because the last thing I wanted to see was the Rangers fate in the hands of Bettman’s henchmen in Toronto.

…so impressed with the Rangers effort and resiliency just 48 hours after finishing a grueling seven game series. In the past, when the Penguins start rolling against the Rangers, whether it’s the regular season or postseason, the Blueshirts usually aren’t able to thwart it. Tonight, the Rangers used the second intermission to make the proper adjustments and get themselves back on track.

…if you didn’t know any better watching tonight’s game, you would have thought the Staal-Stralman duo is the Rangers #1 defensive pairing. They’ve been outstanding the entire postseason.

staalcrosby

…watching Pouliot all season and now in the playoffs, I just have to wonder what the hell was wrong with him before the Rangers acquired his services? Sather literally got this guy off the scrap heap and now he’s an integral part of their playoff run.

…remember when Hank couldn’t win overtime games in the playoffs? He’s now won two straight (4-3 vs. Boston in Game 4 last season).

…i thought the Rangers blew an opportunity in the second period to take advantage of a real shaky Fleury by only getting four shots on goal. It gave him a chance to collect himself and he responded with a real good third period. Although, in typical Fleury fashion he gives up two goals in overtime.

…#1 on the agenda at the next GM meetings is when there is a goal review, every aspect of the play needs to be looked at. The idea of a review is to get the call correct and by ignoring a blatant goaltender interference it doesn’t do that.

malkinint

…in the first round, Columbus deployed Dubinsky to shadow Crosby. The Rangers look like they’re going to do it by committee. They had two or three guys in his back pocket all night. Wonder if AV gave his defense the Gene Hackman in Hoosiers speech before the game: “Think of it as chewing gum… by the end of the game I wanna know what flavor he is!” BTW, how easily frustrated does this guy get? He was sulking all night.

…during the regular season, if Nash wasn’t scoring he really wasn’t doing much of anything else. But in these playoffs he’s continues to do the little things to help the Rangers win whether it’s creating offense for his linemates, supporting the defense, hitting or going to the net without the puck. It’s those things that help teams win in the playoffs and Nash is doing them. He’s become a $7 million role player.

…damn, AV’s got some ups…

avjump

…if the Rangers keep winning, I could give a crap how bad the power play is. When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 their power play was God awful, so playoff success isn’t contingent on a clutch power play. The Rangers penalty kill will have a much bigger impact on whether they win this series or not. As proved tonight.

…remember when everyone complained about Tortorella destroying hockey with his shot blocking brand of hockey in 2012. Looks like Vigneault is showcasing the same strategy and not a peep from the hockey world. Damn, Torts rubbed people the wrong way.

…i’ve seen Rangers fans debate whether Nash or Richards will get bought out this summer. Any chance it’ll be neither of them?

…i’ve thrown Hagelin’s name around as potentially sitting when Kreider’s healthy but if he can continue to create offense with his speed and forecheck there’s no chance he’s coming out.

…it was real fun watching the Rangers be able to match the Penguins speed. In the past they were focused on trying to slow them and the game down. Tonight, they were more than happy to get out and skate against these guys. Then defensively I thought they were very aggressive forcing the Penguins into a number of uncharacteristic mistakes and turnovers.

…all you can ask from your team starting on the road in a seven game series is to steal one in the opponent’s building. The Rangers have done that in the first game, so they’re going into Game 2 with house money.

…only one day off as the Rangers will be playing their fifth game in eight days on Sunday night. But when you roll four lines the way AV does, fatigue isn’t as much of a factor as many might think.

Highlights…

Post game talk…

Kevin

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