Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Ruppin Dirty in MSG leads to a 5-2 Pens win
-On a night when at least a couple fights were expected to go down, 4th line center Mike Rupp ended up being the hero with a hat trick. Crosby added 2 for the Pens and Gaborik scored the Rangers only 2 goals. But Rupp scoring 3, really? He passed his career high for goals in a season (previously 6) and recorded his first hat trick of his career on his son Mason's birthday.
-Where were Avery and Brashear during this game? Avery was visible and he was being very effective on a line with Gabby and Prospal. Creating havoc around Fleury and leading to a couple good scoring chances in the 1st period. But he wasn't "trying to take himself out of the game" (Rupp) like he did on Saturday night. Maybe a Brashear/Godard fight could've got a fairly quiet MSG crowd rouded up, but it was not to be.
-Give the Rangers credit, they fought till the bitter end and to be realistic the game could've gone either way. The Rangers had several odd man breaks where Fleury was there to save us. The Pens on the other hand converted on their odd man breaks and the biggest one came off the stick of Rupp late in the 3rd. Rupp was hit from behind by Girardi and he looked injured, a couple minutes later he's back on the ice and went from one zone to the other and sniped it roof daddy on King Henrik.
-The most important goal of the game was the 1st for the Pens. The Rangers took the lead because of sloppy Pens defense and the inability to play physical on Gaborik. On the next shift, Crosby glides into the off. zone and backhands it top shelf on Lundqvist and the game is tied at 1 and the crowd shuts up. Huge goal.
-Geno wasn't at his best tonight, and I think Feds's below avg. play is hurting Geno. Feds isn't playing well enough for a 2nd line winger. Rupp on the other hand is. He has 8 goals on the season and with Feds's play diminishing, Bylsma will be putting Rupp with Geno in even more spots. Does Kunitz come on the 2nd line when he gets back from injury? We'll see.
-The Pens defense was sloppy the first 2 periods and once they got more physical in the 3rd their play picked up. I think Torts overplayed Gabby, Prospal and Drury and not enough ice time was given to the 3rd and 4th liners. Gabby is a sensational player but he needs more support and the Rangers need secondary scoring. Lundqvist didn't give up any softies tonight and gave the Rags a good chance to win, but Fleury was just a tad bit better.