by Patrick Hoffman on 05/21/12 at 11:43 PM ET
This appears to be the case for the New York Rangers as the team dropped Game 4 at the Prudential Center to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1.
For the third straight series, the Blueshirts will go into Game 5 tied with their opponent. While this probably should not have happened against both the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, the Rangers certainly deserve this fate after the way they played tonight.
The Blueshirts came out extremely flat in the first period and paid for it. The Devils picked-up two goals (Bryce Salvador and Travis Zajac) and were outshot 12-9 in the process. Had it not been for the strong play of Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves), the period could have been much worse for the Blueshirts.
The team also racked up 41 minutes in penalties. While it was good to see the Rangers play a physical brand of hockey, spending that much time in the penalty box does not help anyone and only takes your best players off the ice for an extended period of time, something the Rangers cannot afford to do on any given night.
Another problem for the Rangers was their lack of scoring opportunities. While the team did register 27 shots against Devils’ Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur (26 saves), not many of them were quality scoring chances and were ones that Brodeur usually handles with ease.
One should also note that Devils’ sniper Zach Parise is officially awake. After scoring just 4 goals on 60 shots heading into tonight’s tilt, Parise tallied two goals tonight and looked like a man on a mission. There is no doubt that he is the Devils’ heart and soul and with him playing the way they did tonight, it should be an incredible boost to an already confident Devils’ hockey club.
Just like the previous rounds, the Rangers will now prepare themselves for Wednesday night’s Game 5 at Madison Square Garden. In Game 5’s this postseason, both teams are 1-1 so Wednesday night’s tilt should be interesting.
Again, the Rangers need to change the script because if they do not, the Devils might just take advantage of writing a new one.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, bryce+salvador, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.