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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rangers fall to Panthers in Shootout

It has been well documented that the Rangers have trouble scoring goals. Tonight they made Thomas Vokoun look like Patrick Roy. Their lone goal came from the 4th line when Blair Betts threw the puck into the crease and Colton Orr and Fredrik Sjostrom did something crazy.... they crashed the net. After looking at the replay 7-8 times, it is hard to tell which of them actually got their stick onto the puck, but they kept whacking away and the puck squeaked through Vokoun's legs and just over the red line. The rest of the team thought the large panther face on Vokoun's chest was a target and kept shooting at it and hitting it dead on. With that accuracy, if they aimed for the four corners, who knows how great the results could be. The sky is the limits.
On the Panthers goal in the beginning of the 2nd, I blame Michal Rozsival and only Michal Rozsival. The puck is thrown behind the net and Rozsival goes to track it down. Stillman pressures him from behind and Rozsival gets more nervous than a virgin on his prom night. Stillman picks his pocket like a New York City thief and doubles back the other way behind the net. The damage is not fully done though. Stillman hits Frolick cutting down the middle and Rozsival dashes out in front and screens Hank. While it can be seen as a noble attempt to block a shot, Hank doesn't flinch and in the blink of an eye, the red light is flashing and the crowd is going nuts.
Outside of that blip on the radar, the Rangers played stellar defense and Lundqvist was brilliant in the net with 42 saves, including the first three in the shootout until Richard Zednik got one by him for the game winner.
The Rangers will be facing Philly on NBC in the Game of the Week on Sunday. Stay tuned for a special blog where you get both the perspectives of a Rangers and Flyers fan on the game recap. Also coming soon, a proposed roster for the US Olympic team with the theme of "Out with the old, In with the new."

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