Devils Give Rangers Hell
As a Ranger fan, I truly thought last night was going to be a celebration. With the Rangers and Devils tied at 2 games a piece, last night’s Game 5 was crucial, especially for the blue shirts. However, New Jersey jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, silencing the Madison Square Garden crowd that had come to party. Sitting at home, the sick feeling in my stomach was growing by the minute as I watched the first period unfold. After Henrik let a weak third goal in off the stick of Travis Zajac, I was ready to tap out and flip it over to the Yanks.
However, I decided to ride the game out in the final minutes of the first. All of a sudden, bang, breakaway goal for Brandon Prust. Rangers have a little life going into the second. When Ryan Callahan had a puck go off his foot for a second Ranger goal thirty seconds into the second period, we started to believe. I felt confident going into the third and 17 seconds in, Brodeur made a big mistake giving a puck to Marian Gaborik and he somehow put it in to tie the game at 3. The Rangers, who have struggled to score all postseason, pulled off the impossible, scoring 3 unanswered goals to square the game up. At this point the Garden was rocking and we all thought that we were in store for a brilliant comeback and a 3-2 series lead.
As we know now, with just under 5 minutes remaining, Ryan Carter gave Jersey a 4-3 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The Rangers battle was for nothing but a spirited loss. The Garden went silent, except for the few Devils fans who snuck in. The Devils celebrated on the Rangers home ice, and now find themselves 1 game away from a date with the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Once again, the Rangers have their backs against the walls. The Rangers survived two elimination games in the first round against Ottawa, won an elimination Game 7 against Washington in the second round, and now will have to beat Jersey in two straight games to make it to the Finals. The Rangers have shown heart all season, but they have yet to battle through the fatigue they are now facing. New York has played in 19 high intensity games, and even though they looked as if they found a little life last game, I wonder how much they could possibly have in the tank.
With all that said, I do not want to lose faith and I expect the Rangers to play desperate. Henrik Lundqvist played one of his worst games in Game 5, which won’t possibly happen again tomorrow in New Jersey. The Rangers have battled through all season long, and think Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards and the other team leaders will a force a Game 7 on Sunday night. However, I’ve been confident in almost every game this series, and if there is one thing I’ve figured out in the NHL playoffs, who the hell really knows? Enjoy the game and to the winner go the spoils!