If you look up “Redundant” in the dictionary, it should say, “See: Redundant”. For the Rangers, last night’s Game 2 result was predictably redundant in the playoff run. Unfortunately for the Blueshirt fans, it meant their beloved team lost 3-2 at home, evening the best-of-seven with the Devils at 1.
The Rangers third consecutive Game 2 loss had different characteristics from their previous two. Against Ottawa, the Rangers led, gave up a late goal and lost in Overtime. Against Washington, they fought back from a 2-0 deficit and lost after giving up a late Power Play goal. Last night, it was a David Clarkson deflection early in the third that made the difference. A beauty of a redirect by the Devils’ power forward off the shot by rookie Adam Henrique stood up thanks to the goalie Martin Brodeur’s 23 saves.
Possibly the key goal of the game came with under two minutes in left in the second period. Trailing 2-1, Ryan Carter tipped a Bryce Salvador shot past Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist played well all night, but wasn’t as great as he was in Game 1. Can’t fault him for this game. Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a wrist shot where he was one-on-one with the Rangers’ MVP candidate and two redirections. If that’s what it takes to beat Lundqvist, the Rangers are still in good shape.
Brodeur was no slouch either. The multiple time Vezina winner made several highlight saves, most notably a double-stack pad save on Marian Gaborik. The Devils goaltender did have a bad break. The Rangers first goal came on the Power Play after a Marc Staal shot went wide, but caromed off the back of Brodeur’s leg and into the net. The Rangers took the lead with another Power Play goal. Rookie Chris Kreider tipped in an Anton Stralman shot to give the Rangers their only lead of the night. Until last night, the Rangers were 3-0 in games where Kreider found the net. It should be noted that the Rangers have scored three Power Play goals thus far against the league’s best Penalty Killing team. Will that continue?
So the Rangers lose another Game 2 at home and by the same score. If you ask Blueshirt fans, they’d like to see one more Game 2 loss… in the Finals of course. All this is disappointing, but they are 2-0 in Game 3s. Saturday afternoon will be a great game. Puck drops at one.