The Rangers are in Ottawa for the 2nd stage of the home-to-home series against the Senators, whom they lost to on Sunday. And going into Thursday’s game, head coach John Tortorella made a managerial decision… again.
Unsatisfied with the results of the past two games from the Gaborik-Avery-Christensen line, Torts changed up Gabby’s line once again. Skating with Marian tonight is rookie Derek Stepan and journeyman veteran Ruslan Fedotenko. I’m not shocked, but at the same time aggravated by his ideals. I explained this in the last post, but they faced two hot goaltenders and it’s ONLY been 3 games. Two of which, the Rangers won. I swear this man is NEVER happy. Besides being more vocal, angry, and tossing blame all over the place, how is he different from Renney? Will they create a line generator for Torts, too?
Just like Avery’s first time on the 1st line, Stepan and Fedotenko both scored in their first game with Gabs. Both goals were in direct result of Gaborik’s and their own play. Ironically, both goals were the Rangers’ first two of the game. Torts was happy with they way they played after the game. This feels very much like the first game against the Islanders. Are we going to lose the next two to hot goalies and then switch it up again?
Like the last game, though, the Rangers and Senators were pretty sloppy with neither team taking control of play. The Blueshirts’ forecheck was streaky at best, but found the puck when they needed to. The entire game though, the defenders for New York were out played, slow to react, or just plain played piss poor. In fact, on Mike Fischer‘s second goal the blue liners chose a bad time to make a line change and were mismatched as Michal Rozsival was barely on the ice, chasing the play. Fischer took advantage of the unprepared Steve Eminger and put it past Henrik to put the Sens ahead 3-2.
The third period was the best one for the Broadway Blue, as they started it with a Erik Christensen chuck at the net that somehow found it’s way behind Brian Elliot’s pads. Late in the period, after some positive forechecking, Brandon Prust finds a wide open Mike Sauer who puts it in Elliot’s 5-hole for his first NHL goal. Congratulations Sauer! To seal the deal, Brandon Dubinsky takes advantage of a falling Sergei Gonchar to score an unchallenged empty net goal and make the final score 5-3.
In the first period, Boogard got into a scuffle with Matt Carkner that had a few big hits, but ended premature due to a right from Carkner that broke the Boogeyman’s nose. Carkner was seen talking to Derek while he was down and the refs were sorting everything, but Torts would not elaborate in the post-game. Carks was accused by the Rangers’ bench for flicking blood from his cut right eye at them, and received a 10 minute misconduct penalty. He did later deny flicking the blood, he said however “Maybe I made a gesture or something like that”.
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