The New York Rangers won their seventh playoff game in a row for a new franchise record at home last night as they won convincingly 6-2 over Tampa Bay.
The announcers were all too ready to provide the “long nine-day lay-off” excuse for Tampa Bay as heard no less than a dozen times during the entire broadcast and with 14 seconds remaining an announcer wondered rhetorically if the long lay-off hurt Mr. Vasilevskiy.
It was also proffered that Tampa Bay lost 5-0 to Toronto in the opening round so this is just another aberration combined with HC Cooper worrying about the players not having their legs because of being off for so long, okay we will go with that.
New York scored on the power play while killing off three penalties, they won 60% of their faceoffs, Mr. Shesterkin was brilliant in net, and New York scored just over a minute into the first period.
The Rangers scored first as Mr. Zibanejad after receiving a stretch pass from Mr. Vatrano skates around and past Mr. Kucherov, fakes a shot from the faceoff dot, and passes to Mr. Kreider who smokes a shot over Mr. Vasilevskiy blocker side to score the first goal of the game.
Madison Square Garden was rocking but Tampa Bay came back six minutes later to tie the score for the only goals in the first period.
Similarly, New York takes the 2-1 lead early in the second period but Tampa Bay responds a half a minute later to tie the game again. Then the Rangers respond almost as quickly 90 seconds after that to take the 3-2 lead from Mr. Chytil who scores his second six minutes later and the period ends with a 4-2 score.
As expected when The Bread Man, Mr. Panarin scored 30 seconds into the third-period things began to turn ugly as New York’s opponent played to their lowest base physically, and New York scored once more which only creates more animosity.
We have to witness captain goonkos shove his stick shaft into and through the face mask bars of Mr. Shesterkin who laid face down on the ice momentarily creating a gasp from the crowd, no real harm, no foul.
Then, of course, Tampa’s Footegoon has to face wash and punch Rangers faces in close quarters and the scrums towards the end of the game were beginning to become reminiscent of the 1970s when everyone squared off and the officials cannot tend everyone at once.
It could have become a large-scale donnybrook but the officials and cooler heads prevail, with one player in the box and most others to the locker room, game two should be first-rate.
Tonight’s High Octane event between Colorado and Edmonton starts at eight o’clock and can the Oilers come back with a strong effort as they did against their last opponent or will the Avalanche continue their torrid scoring?