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The Rangers Collapse — and Rally! — in Pittsburgh

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Rangers would lose once Pittsburgh scored twice in 38 seconds last night to take a 2–1 lead with 1:53 to go. After all, Henrik Lundqvist, who'd stood on his head until those final three minutes, was not only visibly upset, breaking his stick over the crossbar and throwing away the shaft, but it earned him an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. So if the Rangers were to win, they'd not only have to kill off the Pittsburgh power play — Pittsburgh, incidentally, had six power plays in the game, to the Rangers' zero — but they'd also have to score shorthanded themselves. And they would, thanks to an incredible few minutes of hockey by Brandon Dubinsky.

During that Pittsburgh power play, Dubinsky would carry the puck end to end, and while being double teamed to the left of the net, flick a pass to Mark Staal, who'd joined the rush, for the game-tying goal. Shortly thereafter, with 38.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Dubinsky would win a key face-off against Sidney Crosby (who'd win 25 of 32 on the night), to help ensure the Rangers earned at least a point. Then in overtime, on a two-on-one with Ryan Callahan, Dubinsky held on to the puck just long enough for defenseman Paul Martin to slide by, then fed Callahan at the side of the net for the game winner. Add in Dan Girardi returning for the final minutes after suffering a nasty cut on his face, and this was some night for the homegrown talent (save perhaps for the missed pass between Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan that led to Pittsburgh's second goal).

The Rangers didn't play their most complete game of the season — and if not for Lundqvist's 37 saves, they wouldn't have even been in a position to tie the game late — but given the opponent, and given how the final minutes played out, and given how Dubinsky and Callahan and Staal led the rally, this was as satisfying a victory as they've earned all year.

Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images