Momentum swings? How about a half-dozen in about seven minutes?
An incredible flurry of goals capped an edge-of-your-seat third period and overtime here in Pittsburgh tonight, as the Rangers first failed to hold a 1-0 lead, then rallied shorthanded to tie the game at 18:34 of regulation, then grab two points at 3:38 of OT on Ryan Callahan's goal off a 2-on-1.
On Marc Staal's tying goal, a desperate coach John Tortorella was in the process of pulling Lundqvist and sending out Marian Gaborik. "I'm not sure that Hank even gets to the bench before Stallsie scores. Nothing needed to be said. We were going to take a chance. Of course we're going to go for it."
In OT, Callahan went to the net and froze Marc-Andre Fleury, who was zeroed in on Brandon Dubinsky, because he said he knew Dubinsky would delay the pass. "My easiest goal in the NHL," said Callahan, who was voted the first star.
"I'm proud of those guys and when they score the winning goal," said Tortorella, who praised Dan Girardi (27:25) for coming back on the ice after a serious, bloody gash on his forehead between the eyes and his young players.
"I look at Cally's face and Dubi's face on the replay. It's good stuff for our kids. Everybody chipped in....These games here, although you feel like crap when you're down 2-1 after how hard you played, we end up kinda blowing it a little there, but when you come back and win it, it's a helluva lot better than winning 8-2. It helps your team in the long run, playing against top notch teams like Pittsburgh."
The kudos could be handed out to Lundqvist (37 saves) and the penalty killers, who were six for six and are 20 for the last 21.
Both Brandon Prust and Brian Boyle, "did just a great job up ice, especially in that third period," said Tortorella, who also had Derek Stepan between Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov duing the game. "Prust, when we traded for him, he was a three or four minute guy, Tonight, I probably played him 13 or 14 minutes (14:43). Everything he's getting he deserves."
Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin has three and seven shots on goal, respectively, but were contained much of the time.
Gaborik, who played 14:43 and had just two shots, wasn't that effective offensively. "I was bouncing Gabby around trying to keep him away from Orpik," said Tortorella. "I thought Step did a pretty good job, where it goes from here, who knows." He also shortened the bench in the third, with Matt Gilroy playing a total of 9:15 overall.
Reminder: We'll be hosting the live weekly chat on Wednesday at 2, before the Bruins game at MSG.
Catch everybody tomorrow.