Friday, May 2, 2008

The Blueshirts Live to See Another Day

After giving up 12 goals in the first 3 games to the Penguins, the Rangers fell into a massive hole. The Penguins quickly gained a 3-0 series lead and it was all but over for the Rangers.

But the Rangers, who earlier this season went on an incredible 13 game run where they gained a point in each outing, are not quick to give up on anything.

They came out to a blisteringly loud crowd at the Garden last night with the intensions of satisfying their fans at least one more time this season. If anything, they were not going to lose this series on home ice. Easier said than done, of course. The Penguins are good. They are exceptionally good. Perhaps the best in the entire NHL.

Henrik Lundqvist, who has been very shaky in games 1 and 3, needed to be stellar if they were going to survive this do-or-die match. He needed to be perfect. Well, perfect he was, saving all 29 shots that came his way, including a penalty shot from the intimidating Evgeni Malkin, to record his 2nd career playoff shutout.

The young rookie (and soon to be superstar) Brandon Dubinsky, scored his 4th goal of the playoffs on a power play early on in the 3rd period. He also recorded his 4th assist of the playoffs in the 2nd period.

But if there was one player who truly played like it could be the final game for the Blueshirts, it was none other than Jaromir Jagr...well, because, it might not have only been his final game for the season, but his final game in the NHL. Jagr, who will likely be ending his hall of fame career at the end of this season to pursue a league in Russia, was the star of the night. He scored the first goal of the game midway through the 2nd period to give the Rangers the boost they needed. He also assisted on Dubinsky's goal, and finished the night off with an empty net goal with 14 seconds left in the game. It was inspiring, to say the least, hearing loud roars from the crowd "JAGR, JAGR, JAGR"

The game was intense. It was exciting. It was beautiful.

The Rangers may or may not end up pulling off a miraculous comeback, but at the very least, they played their hearts out last night at MSG and will be going off in style. All I know is that the last team to blow a 3-0 lead in the playoffs were none other than the Penguins back in 1975. So who's to say history won't repeat itself? I can only hope.


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