Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rangers v. Ottawa Gamethread

I'm giving this a shot. I'll be here making updates on the game every few minutes or so. This is my first shot at this so feel free to let me know what I'm doing right and wrong.

7:20 - Sloppy opening few minutes for the Rangers. Bad hooking penalty, sloppy defense by Roszival and a terrible line change has led to a 2-0 Ottawa lead only 6 minutes in.

7:25 - Big, hard hit by Neil on Avery leads to a 2 minute penalty for elbowing, but Avery went right to the locker room favoring his left shoulder.

7:40 - Good shift by Prucha and Callahan, who are being centered by Blair Betts. I like Betts, but he doesn't belong on the third line. Hollweg was double-shifted, moving up into Avery's spot. Strudwick shows again that he is a leader and challenges Neil. Good fight, Neil left with blood under his left eye and mouth. Hooking penalty to the notorious Marek Malik.

7:48 - End of period one. Lundqvist robbed Heatley at the end with a marvelous glove save. Still no word on Avery, which is forcing Renney to do some line juggling. Much better ending 14 minutes. Perry Pearn just said they would be going with 11 forwards for the rest of the game.

8:05 - Start of period two. Excellent puck movement and control by the Rangers is countered by Ottawa. Lundqvist makes some excellent saves. Still no word on Avery.

8:09 - Left shoulder injury to Avery - will not return. Bad break for the Blueshirts.

8:20 - Bad call on Shannahan. Henrik Lundqvist continues to be the best Ranger on the ice. Prucha is playing his heart out as well. Fedor Tyutin just rocketed one off the post.

8:24 - Excellent shift again by the 4th line. If Ryan Hollweg can find some sort of offensive ability like he had in Hartford, he will be much more valuable to this team than he already is. Brandon Dubinski might be making them better, but he really needs to be on the third line.

8:37 - Second intermission. Much better second period for the Rangers. Lundqvist had to make some big saves, and Martin Gerber saved the Senators as well on several occasions. Looks like we need a little third period magic again down 2-0. After looking at Neil's hit over and over, it looks like the elbow was on the follow through, but the shoulder was at Avery's head. Avery had his head down, and there was a little bit of air between Neil's skates and the ice. Borderline hit, you can argue it was clean and you can argue it was dirty.

9:00 - Strong defense by Ottawa right now. Jagr can't find any space and the Rangers are having difficulty getting into the offensive zone. Ottawa is also doing a great job of blocking shots. Jason Strudwick, save for a few positioning follies in the first, is playing a strong defensive game. Neil took a run at Peter Prucha away from the play. Orr needs to step in sometime real soon. He almost took Prucha's head off.

9:10 - Both goalies are putting on a clinic. The Rangers have been much more offensive as we approach the halfway point of the period. Another power play for the Rangers coming up on a slashing call to Mezaros. Dubinski was just playing on a line with Jagr and Straka. Gomez is now on with Shannahan, Jagr, Drury and Roszival. We need one here.

9:17 - Gerber is the star of this game. Hands down. No message sent to Neil, and in the final 5 minutes of the game, you have to imagine it's not going to happen. Too bad.

9:21 - Give the second star of the game to the entire Ottawa defense. I haven't seen this many blocked shots in a while.

9:30 - Game over. 2-0 Ottawa. Ottawa moves to 3-0. Rangers 1-1. Gerber made 35 saves in the shutout. Anyone watching the game could see that the Senators did a brilliant job shutting down Jagr, and Prucha was the best forward on the ice. He hustled to every puck, made some decent plays off the puck and absorbed some punishing hits. Gerber, Alfredson, Lundqvist were the stars of the game, deservedly so. Rangers next play the Islanders on Wednesday night.

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