Tuesday, April 6, 2010
All-or-nothing for Rangers vs. Philly
By Don La Greca
The Rangers' unbeaten streak in regulation ends at six as they fall to the Sabres in Buffalo 5-2. The story of the game is not so much that the Blueshirts lost, but John Tortotella pulled Henrik Lundqvist from the game after allowing three goals on 16 shots. Was it to spark the team? Or maybe with the Rangers playing Wednesday, to rest his netminder? Torts said rest was part of it but refused to offer more of an explanation. However, with Ryan Miller playing awesome in the final 40 minutes including an amazing save on Marian Gaborik midway through the second, it didn't look like the Rangers' night no matter who was in goal.
So with the Flyers blanking the Leafs 2-0 the Rangers find themselves three points back of the Bruins for eighth place, both teams with three games left. And four points behind the Flyers with Philly having just two games remaining, both against the Rangers. This is not the end of the world. However, Wednesday night at the Garden is huge. It's the biggest regular season game at the Garden since the lockout. One problem: The game is at home. Despite one of the best fan bases in sports the Rangers have not been great at home. As a matter of fact they have been below average: 16-17-6. So after a 4-1-1 road trip the Rangers have to make some magic at home or their season comes apart.