The Rangers pulled out a 4-3 shootout victory over the Flyers last night to pull even with Philly atop the Atlantic Division. It was the Rangers' eighth win in the last ten games, and it was Philly's first loss on home ice all year.
The Flyers got regulation goals from Jim Dowd, Daniel Briere and Denis Tolpeko (first NHL goal) while the Rangers got goals from Fedor Tyutin (50th NHL point), Brendan Shanahan and Petr Prucha. Scott Gomez extended his point scoring streak with a pair of assists, Sean Avery chipped in a pair as well and Chris Drury assist on the Prucha goal. Shanahan scored the game winner in the shootout again, after Marcel Hossa was stopped on the first attempt. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20 of 23 shots in regulation and overtime, and all three shootout attempts. Marty Biron stopped 26 of 29 in the four periods, and was only beaten by Shanahan in the shootout.
The game was blacked out for Buffalo vs Ottawa, which I was hoping would be a good game at least. It wasn't, as Buffalo isn't the same team without Drury and Briere and those Buffalo announcers drive me crazy. I don't have much to go by as highlights on Sportscenter were also very limited. From what I heard, the Rangers started slow, then kicked into a new gear about halfway through the first period and didn't slow down, creating a very entertaining game. Other than that, I cannot offer too much else. I'll be able to see tomorrow night's game against the Penguins though.
In other news, Ryan Callahan is now listed as day to day as he just has to get used to the new knee brace and recondition himself. I offered it before, but who goes when he comes back? Does he sit? Or does someone like Hossa get bumped? Maybe Ryan Hollweg or Colton Orr goes, even though that line has been very impressive and is doing a great job at what they're supposed to do, shutdown the line they're against and energize the team and crowd? If that happens, who gets stashed on the fourth line? Prucha? It's a bad situation, but a good one at the same time. Better to have too much depth than not enough depth.
I say create a rotation. Rotate Hossa, Callahan and maybe Prucha in and out of the lineup until injury strikes, someone goes in a slump or something unforeseen happens. Keep players fresh. If Shanahan needs a game off, give it to him. Put Callahan in on the second line and he can chip in where Shanahan took off. It's not ideal, but the team is playing so well, it's hard to sit anyone permanently.
Also, Avery was featured in People magazine this week. He is listed as one of People's sexiest men alive, sharing the honor with celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Patrick Dempsey, Ben Affleck and others. I am going to stop talking about sexy men now, but there is a video interview on People's page located here: http://www.people.com/people/package/video/0,,20154290_20154496_20159873,00.html
It's not a bad interview so enjoy.
See you back here tomorrow night.