Truth be told, the Rangers didn’t play a particularly physical game last night. Besides some yapping in the first period, and some pushing and shoving in the third, there was little indication that the Rangers were out to retaliate for Matt Cooke’s dirty hit Saturday night. Choosing not to take penalties that could cost them the game — that’s discipline, we guess. Problem is, Pittsburgh got the last laugh anyway.
The hardest hit of the night was a penalized one: Dan Girardi was called for boarding Mike Rupp, who saw increased ice time filling in on the third line for the suspended Cooke. Rupp, who’d already scored in the second period, left the ice after the hit, but would return shortly thereafter … to score twice more and complete the hat trick in the 5–2 Penguins victory.
One of the few Rangers who showed signs of feistiness was Marian Gaborik, who delighted the crowd by taking a swipe at Sidney Crosby after Crosby tried to clear him out of the crease. This makes sense, since Gaborik is just about the only Ranger doing anything right these days. He scored both Blueshirt goals (no surprise there), and though the Rangers played decent enough for two-and-a-half periods, things fell apart in the third.
Henrik Lundqvist was unspectacular again, allowing at least four goals for the third time in four starts and the fourth time in eight. Michal Rozsival continues to get worse every time he steps on the ice. (Our favorite line this morning comes from the Bergen Record’s game story, which speaks of Rozsival’s “odd positioning” on Rupp’s game-winning goal.) And Gaborik, who continues to be worth every penny, once again got very little help offensively. You have to wonder: How much longer will Glen Sather wait before making changes? And when he decides to, where does he even start?