The Islanders’ season is over, but not before they put a kink in the Rangers’ playoff plans. A shootout loss (and a loss by the Devils) means the Rangers now will play Sunday for a chance at the 4th seed, but they could fall as low as 6th if they fail to get a point and the Bruins win tonight.
Not exactly the scenario everyone was hoping for, but to be honest the Rangers really didn’t deserve to win. Henrik Lundqvist didn’t look sharp on any of the goals against, and a 3 on 5 short handed goal to Richard Park (and the inability to score at the other end) is on the five forwards who were out there.
The loss closes out the regular season at MSG with the final game to be played in Newark on Sunday.
The Hockey News writes that the Rangers are back in the playoffs without the “razzle”, referring to the switch to a more defensive style.
Rangers management were in Switzerland last week checking out the preparations for the Victoria Cup. The Rangers will play games against SC Bern and Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League before they head to the Czech Republic for the season opener.
The Wolf Pack also lost 4-3 in a shootout, and with the loss they can no longer overtake the Bruins for first place. Hartford gave up their quickest goal ever, just 8 seconds in, but managed to come back three times to force the game to OT. It’s the second time within a week the Pack have given up a goal in the opening minute…last time was the 10-1 win over Springfield.
The Checkers dropped their fifth game in the last seven and will close their regular season out tonight against Gwinnett. Matt Zaba and the Idaho Steeleheads also finish their regular season tonight. The Checkers will finish either 5th or 6th and face Gwinnett or Florida, while the Steelheads could finish anywhere from 1st to 3rd.
The QMJHL second round got under way last night, and Ryan Hillier picked up the third star of the game (and a goal) as Halifax got out to a 1-0 lead over Cape Breton. David Skokan and Rimouski lost 4-3 in OT and are now 0-1 in their series with Rouyn-Noranda. Skokan was a -2 in the game.