Sean Avery

Rangers Go Up 2-0

The Rangers left New Jersey last night with a 2-1 win and a 2-0 lead in the series lead to put them in the driver’s seat and a chance to put the Devils in a deep hole.

When asked before the game why he changed sticks so often, Jaromir Jagr told Colin Stephenson of the Star Ledger that he likes to change them if he didn’t have a good game. As he tested out a new stick, he turned to Stephenson and said “I guarantee you, if I use this stick, I’m going to score tonight.”. Jagr did of course score, and made sure to catch up with the reporter after the game.

In fact, Jagr’s goal, which sneaked in the short side, was the first of two in twenty three seconds for the Rangers in the third period, with Sean Avery adding the eventual game winner shortly afterwards.

The Devils did manage to assert some pressure and one point had a series reviewed after Lundqvist made a save along the goal line. The home team did eventually score a late goal with the goaltender pulled, before a penalty, a non-penalty and a mistaken icing call sent the game to a controversial end for the home team. Needless to say, several Devils players as well as their Head Coach Brent Sutter were not happy with the officiating.

Once again Henrik Lundqvist had a big game, as did the penalty kill, which stopped all five chances against, including a four minute double minor to Christian Backman in the second period with the score 0-0

Unlike Wednesday’s Game 1, we saw a little bit more fire in the game last night. Five sets of matching minors were called, and Zach Parise lost some teeth when he attempted to hit Christian Backman, but received a stick in the mouth for his efforts.

The Rangers have never lost a series when leading 2-0, but the Devils are far from done in the series. The first two games have been hard fought, close games, with the result decided in the third period. Anything can happen on home ice, and the Rangers will need to harness their emotions and stick to the plan.

The Hartford Wolf Pack beat Springfield 4-1 to continue a strong late season streak. Four different Pack players scored goals, and David LeNeveu stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced. The Pack close out their regular season with two games against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tonight and tomorrow.

The Checkers attempt to keep their series alive tonight in Game 3 of their best of 5 with Gwinett. The Checkers are back in Charlotte for the game, but have only scored one goal in their first two games.

Ryan Hillier had two goals, including the game winner to help the Halifax a second round series win over Cape Breton. The Mooseheads will now wait to see who they’ll play in the Semifinals.

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