It wasn’t easy, but we were able to overcome a near disaster in the 3rd period to beat the Penguins in our last home game before starting a long 4 game road trip beginning on saturday.
After a lackluster 1st period where we fell down 1-0 we came out in the second likea team on a mission. J.T. Miller, who has been straight fire since being recalled from Hartford, took a pass from St. Louis on a 2 on 1 about 4 minutes into the period and buried it into the back of the net. Miller just said that he’s more comfortable on the ice since coming back. We were tearing into the Penguins after that, drawing some penalties, playing very solid D, and killing off penalties of our own. Rick Nash (so hot right now) intercepted a pass inside of the Penguins zone and went 1 on 1 against Fluery, and after getting stuffed by Fluerry’s extended left pad, he took his own rebound and pushed it in. 2-1 Blueshirts.
The third period went back and forth, Henrik got tested, being peppered with shots, but he stool tall early on, until Kevin Hayes added a backhand insurance goal to give us a 3-1 lead. Now, if this was any other team I would be comfortable with a 2 goal lead with the King in net and under 8 minutes to play, but this Rangers team, against this Penguins offense, anything could happen. And the worst happened. With a little over 4 minutes left, Evgani Malkin sniped one past the grasp on Henrik cutting the lead to 3-2. Fine, that why we got the insurance goal. It’s not like they’re going to score 24 seconds later or anything…..Then 24 seconds later after a Rick Nash slapshot, the penguins started up the ice and got the Rangers in a 3 on 2 and Scott Dowie put one past Lundqvist. 3-3. This has been the Rangers problem all year. We’ve lost 8 games in which we’ve had a lead at some point in the game, losing a possible 13 points. 13 POINTS! That couldn’t happen tonight could it.
Nope, 3 and a half minutes into overtime, after a ton of pressure by the Penguins, Kevin Klein, who had to have his ear reattached earlier in the game because of a high stick penalty. Yes you heard me HIS EAR! He took a slap shot from 49 feet out. Game. Set. Match.
We needed this win because we never ever win in overtime. So to give up a lead late like we always do and then rebound, especially against a team at teh top of the conference like the penguins, it does something for your team. Confidence comes in many forms, and this is just the way we needed to get it.
Tanner Glass played his first game since getting the mumps a few weeks ago. Chris Kreider was out again after colliding with Haglin in practice on Saturday. He’s had problems staying on the ice all season. John Moore was back after being a healthy scratch on Saturday. Rick Nash’s goal was his 18th, giving him sole possession of second place in goals in the NHL, 3 behind Tyler Seguin who just keeps scoring.