Wow, that was an interesting game to say the least. Scott Gomez played awesome. He was everywhere. Flying all over the ice, making plays on both ends, and of course, setting up one of the best goals I’ve witnessed in a while.
In the battle of two great goaltenders, Lundqvist outplayed Brodeur in round 1… hands down, not even close. The Rangers first goal was a bad angle wrister from Shanahan that somehow managed to squeeze through between Brodeur’s arm and body. Gomez was in front, so that goal is excusable because of the screen. However, on the Rangers second goal, Brodeur lackadaisically left the puck at his feet in the crease. BIG mistake. No doubt he didn’t see Ryan Callahan absolutely flying around the back of the net, but still, you just don’t leave the puck laying around in your crease. I know this because I am a goalie. You just don’t do that. Meanwhile, on the other end of the ice, Lundqvist was solid. The highlight save of the evening came with the score tied 1-1 late in the 2nd with Henrik sliding across the crease to stone Elias with the left pad. Beautiful save.
P.S. It’s gotta be a stomach punch to hear your team’s goalie being taunted LOUDLY by thousands of opposing fans in your own building. I was at the game tonight, and the Rangers fans were loud from start to finish. I’d say about 30-40% of the audience was cheering for the Blueshirts.
On the negative side, the Rangers defense coughed up the puck a little too easily on several occasions, but fortunately the Devils couldn’t capitalize. Girardi and Tyutin, after receiving stellar praise in our series preview, did not play their best. In particular, there were at least 3 defensive zone turnovers that led directly to scoring chances. Let’s hope this trend does not continue into Game 2.
Here are the video highlights from Game 1 (TSN broadcast – nice!) and these are my 3 plays of the game:
- Lundqvist robs Elias – 2:38
- Brodeur leaves the puck, Callahan bangs it home – 3:17
- Gomez lights up the Devils – 3:38