John Tortorella kept surprisingly calm during his post-game press conference last night, explaining that the Rangers struggled during a ten-minute span during the second period, and that Pittsburgh capitalized to win the game. Because from our seat, the Rangers looked a step behind all night in their 3–1 loss to Pittsburgh — too many sloppy passes, too much indecisiveness in the offensive zone, and line combinations that, for the most part, didn’t quite work.
Coming off a 2–1 road trip wrapped around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Rangers allowed the Garden crowd to come alive only on rare occasions: a short-but-explosive Sean Avery fight, a couple of big hits, and Marian Gaborik’s second-period goal, the Rangers’ only tally on the evening. Meanwhile, the red-hot Penguins pounced when given the opportunity, jumping out to a 2–0 lead thanks to Maxime Talbot scoring off a loose puck in the first, and a second-period goal on which Sidney Crosby — more on him in a moment — fed Kris Letang in the slot during a sloppy Rangers line change. (They’d extend the lead to 3–0 a minute fifteen later.)
And now, here’s the part of the Rangers-Penguins recap where we discuss the officiating, or more specifically in this case, the reactions to a bad call. During the first period, Crosby and Ryan Callahan got tangled up near center ice, and Crosby quite blatantly kicked Callahan’s skate out from under him. Callahan — and only Callahan — was sent to the box afterward. Here’s the video:A Slew Foot, and a Slew of Other Problems, at the Garden