Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cardiac Blue Shirts Survive Game 4 [J. Mark English]

Whippoorwills call, evenin' is nigh. Hurry to my Blue Heaven. Turn to the right, there's a little white light, will lead you to my Blue Heaven.

You'll see a smilin' face, a fireplace, a cozy room. Little nest that nestles where the roses bloom. We're so happy in my Blue Heaven. We're happy in my Blue Heaven!

Can you believe it? What a game! My heart beat is just catching up with me.

So what if only five people watched the game on Versus (if you can find that station on your cable listings you win a prize). Despite the awful ratings for these Stanley Cup playoffs; a raucous and roaring sold out Madison Square Garden crowd witness a pearl of a game. The New York Rangers evened the second round series against the Buffalo Sabres at two games a piece. In doing so they survived a torturous final seconds which featured a crucial goal review. The Rangers survived, and the Blue Shirt fans go home happy knowing that at the very least there will be a game six at MSG on Sunday.

For more on the game, Lynn Zinser of the New York Times reports:

For the third consecutive game, the Rangers last night found themselves in a close, low-scoring playoff game with Buffalo, a situation in which they feel at home.

The Madison Square Garden crowd loved it, too, keeping the volume high for most of the Rangers’ 2-1 victory, which tied their series with the Sabres at two games apiece.

The Rangers got an early second-period power-play goal from Jaromir Jagr and clung to that lead as if their playoff lives depended on it. They actually managed to stretch the lead to two goals on another power-play goal, midway through the third, by Brendan Shanahan. But Buffalo’s Ales Kotalik scored 35 seconds later to restore the tightrope quality to the game.

The Rangers had to sit through a long delay with 13 seconds left while replay referees determined that a shot by Buffalo center Daniel Brière did not cross the goal line.

This has been the kind of game the Rangers have used to climb into the playoffs and then to succeed in them.

Game 5 will be Friday night in Buffalo, where the Sabres, the highest-scoring team in the regular season, won the first two games of the series.

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