Gotham Hockey's Dripping in Playoff Drama
In what turned out to be a great weekend for New York-area hockey, one team may have stirred a simmering pot one twirl too many while the other may be moving on in their last season in an old, outdated barn.
The Rangers, winners of the Presidents' Trophy as the regular season champion, began their Prince of Wales Trophy defense by defeating Pittsburgh, 2-1, in Game 1 with two-first period goals and lotsa hanging on.
But in Game 2, the Blueshirts couldn't repeat the script. They jumped out in front again on a goal by Derek Stepan, but after a tying goal from Brandon Sutter, Sidney Crosby popped in two straight to lead the Penguins to a 4-2 victory.
They say to never wake up a sleeping dog, and while Ranger fans taunted him, Crosby reminded everyone that he's still the best player in the game. Now, with Pittsburgh defending home ice in Game 3, this one's a series, especially with Marc-André Fleury playing better in goal than Henrik Lundqvist.
If Malkin follows Crosby and gets hot, well ...
Over in Long Island, the Isles are about to say goodbye to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as they'll move to Brooklyn next season.
After winning Game 1 on the road against the Washington Capitals, the Islanders surrendered two goals in the third period on Friday night and lost, 4-3.
So with the series tied at one, their homecoming at the Coliseum was loud and nasty on Sunday, and the teams treated the 16,170 fans to a classic.
Despite outshooting Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals 42-25, this one went into overtime due to the outstanding goaltending by Washington's Braden Holtby. It didn't take long, however, for the Islanders to ring up the victory in overtime and send everyone home happy, as John Tavares scored 15 seconds into the extra period to give them a 2-1 triumph and a 2-1 lead in the series.
The potential's clearly there for a later-round clash between the two Gotham clans, but as usual in a Cup run, it's gonna take everything they've got to get there.