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Goal Line Report

Devils’ Late Goal Sinks Rangers’ Comeback Efforts

At the end of the day, it does not matter how many goals you allow as long as you are the team that has more when the final buzzer sounds.

In tonight’s Game 5 between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, it was Devils’ forward Ryan Carter’s goal with less than five minutes to go in the hockey game that lifted the Devils to a 5-3 victory. The Devils’ defense may not have been great but in the end, it was their offense that got the crucial goal to give their team a 3-2 series lead.

For the Rangers, it was the things that happened both early and late in the game that hurt them the most. In the first period, the Devils scored three goals on six shots (Stephen Gionta, Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac) to go up 3-0 less than 10 minutes into the hockey game. Then, in the third period, Carter scored the Devils to put them up 4-3 after the Blueshirts had gotten themselves back into the game and that was followed by a Zach Parise empty net goal with 1:32 to go in the hockey game.

Had it not been for those 15-minutes, this could have been a Rangers’ victory. Even when the club was down 3-0, they did not quit and battled hard to tie the game as they got goals from Brandon Prust, Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik.

The team was also able to take advantage of a somewhat shaky Martin Brodeur (25 saves) to get back into the hockey game. With that said, Brodeur battled to the end and made the big saves late in the third period when it mattered most and more importantly, he put his team one victory away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

While it is tough to pick on any one player for the Rangers’ who struggled tonight, one cannot help but point out defenseman Michael Del Zotto’s continued struggles. While it is understandable that he is dealing with the effects of losing a family member, some of the giveaways he made tonight were extremely careless and he was also caught way out of position on the Devils’ game winning goal.

One also has to look at Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist’s (12 saves) play tonight. While the loss cannot be put solely on his shoulders, he definitely should have been able to stop the Devils’ third goal.

So, much like in their first round series against the Ottawa Senators, the Rangers hit the road for Game 6 and head into it down 3-2 in the series. There is no doubt that the Prudential Center will be rocking much like it was in Game 4, especially with their fans knowing that their team is just one win away from heading to the Final for the first time since 2003.

The Rangers will need to find a way to put a complete game together because if they are not able to on Friday night, their magical playoff run just might come to an end.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brandon+prust, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, patrik+elias, ryan+callahan, ryan+carter, stephen+gionta, travis+zajac

Comments

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Patrick, all rivalry sniping aside, I’d like to ask you if you think there is just one or more than one underlying problems plaguing the Rangers now? Based on all the games you’ve watched during the regular season, the entire playoffs up to this point, all the details you observe as a blogger, what do you think they are lacking, if anything?

I’m curious to see what you say, just to see how it plays out regardless of their winning or losing this round—if they win and make it into the championship, will the same issue be a factor, if they lose, will it be a problem that is addressed through tweaking in the off season.

Posted by Carthage on 05/24/12 at 01:13 AM ET

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Carthage,

I still think the Rangers are lacking offensive firepower. Yes, they have someone who scored over 40 goals this year in Marian Gaborik but no one else on the team hit the 30-goal mark. I thought that offensive firepower was something they were lacking all season long.

The team is set on defense and in goal, which only leaves the offense that needs to be tweaked. It will be interesting to see what kind of player Chris Kreider develops into. It will be interesting to see how Carl Hagelin matures next season and it will also be intriguing to see what happens to Brandon Dubinsky as he had a terrible season this year.

You posed a great question, Carthage. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog.

Posted by Patrick Hoffman from Fairfield, CT on 05/24/12 at 01:17 AM ET

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Alright, I guess we’ll know in short order how it pans out. I am a Devils fan, even though I left NJ 2 1/2 years ago, but I pay close attention to our division, so how can I not want to know what Rangers fans are noticing about their team—most likely it’ll impact outcomes for my team.

Good night from Texas!

Posted by Carthage on 05/24/12 at 01:33 AM ET

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.