Sharks Edge Rangers 1-0
The San Jose Sharks, who are on fire right now, came into Madison Square Garden today looking for another two points, and they got them, while only scoring one goal.
The New York Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives right now as they are caught in the middle of a tight playoff race which will ultimately come down to the last game of the season.
To tell somebody that the Rangers needed two points today was an extreme understatement. The Blueshirts desperately needed those two points, but came up short in the end.
In the first period, things looked great for New York. They were getting good scoring chances, and they were even outplaying the Sharks which came as a surprise to many fans. But, as the period rambled on San Jose got their legs back beneath them, and they turned into the beasts from the West that we are used to seeing (or hearing) about.
A Logan Couture short-handed goal is all his team would need to defeat the Rangers this afternoon. A bang-bang play where Couture picked off an outlet pass and roofed a backhand shot past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
From then on, the skills of Antti Niemi took over, and he ended up making 41 saves to preserve his team’s lead and get them the victory.
41 shots, some of which were prime chances and could have easily been slam dunks, but the puck simply did not bounce in favor of the home team.
Carl Hagelin thought he had scored in the second period on a wrap-around, but the refs took it up to Toronto and it was deemed “inconclusive”, even though it seemed pretty obvious that the puck had crossed the line.
Sometimes they go your way, other times they don’t. This was just one of those days.
Philadelphia beat the Penguins today 4-3, which means the Rangers are out of the top three in the Metropolitan division and are now owners of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
There’s still time left however, and with the teams being so tightly packed in points, the Rangers can easily leap-frog some squads to get into prime position.
If New York wants to begin climbing back up the standings instead of free-falling, the superstars like Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and newest acquisition Martin St.Louis are going to have to start producing like they should be.
The Rangers round out this week with three games against the Senators, Blue Jackets, and Devils. Three very winnable games which could easily get this team back in the hunt.