With a 2-0 lead several stories in the papers over the last couple of days have all but awarded the best of seven series to the Rangers, and while history is on the side of the Blueshirts, there’s still plenty of hockey to play.
A controversial ending to game two, which saw several Devils players, their Head Coach, as well as their General Manager all take issue with the officiating, just adds more drive to the Devils’ desire to get back into the series. Throw in a play by Christian Backman which knocked out two of leading scorer, Zach Parise’s front teeth, and we should see a much more lifely game today.
Brent Sutter is reportedly considering playing hard hitting defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski for today’s game, and if he does, you can expect at least one or two forwards will feel a little sore after today’s game. Without Colton Orr available for the game, it’ll be up to the likes of Ryan Callahan, Ryan Hollweg, Brandon Dubinsky and Brendan Shanahan to respond physically.
The temperature certainly ratcheted up in Game 2 (there were five sets of matching minors), so expect it to go even further today with the series on the line.
For the Rangers, they will not only be battling more intensity from the Devils, but also an MSG crowd that is likely to be as lound and excited as any in recent history. For New York, it will be about harnessing the adenaline and the emotions, and sticking to the game that has won them the first two games.
The league reassigned an assist from Scott Gomez to Brendan Shanahan on the Sean Avery goal in Game 2. Gomez was orginally given an assist, but a closer review showed that Shanahan touched the puck before Avery let his shot go.
Six of the eight goals scored in the series so far have come in the third period, and neither team has yet to score in the first.