Newsday’s blog software was down for much of Friday night for upgrades, so my usual Wrap and/or Post-Game Xtra was never posted.
Here’s a short recap for your dining and dancing pleasure on a Saturday morning:
Goal-less in 11 games, Marian Gaborik admitted that he is pressing, and suggested to reporters that perhaps he was “squeezing his stick” and should just “close his eyes.” But he also said he needs to bear down as the Rangers try to solve Caps rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth, who has stopped 46 of 47 shots and given up few second chances. The kid needs to be tested on Sunday.
Gaborik had three of the Rangers 13 shots on goal in the first period, and just one in the next forty minutes. This team needs a goal, any kind of goal---ugly, pretty, deflected, disputed---early for some confidence and to put some doubt in Neuvirth.
Through two games, the Rangers defense has been as advertised, mostly solid, but with costly lapses. Four goals in two games, one on a bad bounce on the power play yesterday.
Not much choice on reinforcements on offense so expect some line-tinkering again at practice today at 1. I might reunite the Prust-Boyle-Fedotenko trio. Dubinsky and Anisimov seem utterly lost without Callahan, but maybe you pair them again, simply for familiarity, with Chris Drury, who played just 7:26. Same thing with Prospal (no shots) and Gaborik, and let Christensen give it another whack. That leaves Stepan, Wolski (no shots), Avery.
And then the gorilla in the room: The power play. Yikes. 1-for-31. Bryan McCabe is not getting it done on the point. Here’s where UFA Brad Richards would help next season. .
The Caps were spouting versions of the “we just held serve” bromide, which is true. The Rangers have a bucketful of heart and a glass half-full of talent. “We know their goaltending is phenomenal,” said Jason Arnott. “They work as hard as any team in the league. We can’t take them for granted.”
Will be jumping on WFAN at 10:45 AM with Evan Roberts. Please tune in for a quick look back—and ahead to Game 3….