Sunday, November 26, 2006

So Close, Yet Still a Loss

I write this broken hearted, but not surprised. The Ranger's just lost in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres at home for the second (and last) time this year. The Ranger's tried hard but were overmatched the entire game. Buffalo forced them to make errors and commit penalties. The whole experience was like watching a soccer game whose final score is 1-0 but whose outcome was never actually in doubt.

After a scoreless first period, Buffalo scored when Maxim Afinogenov put the puck past Lundqvist during what seemed to be an endless string of Buffalo power plays. At one point during the second period, there was an almost four minute stretch of 5 on 3 hockey. And while Lundqvist is looking much better in goal, there are limits! The second goal occurred when Sandis Ozolinsh flubbed a pass and Vanek stole it and launched it into the goal. This was one of the few truly unnecessary errors that the Ranger's had and it was painful to witness. Most of of the penalties occurred because Buffalo forced the Ranger's to choose between penalty and goal. That fact alone pretty much explains why Buffalo is 18 and 3.

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