The New York Rangers hosted Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semi-final match up with the Pittsburgh Penguins trailing 3-0 and looking to stave off elimination.
Coming into the series, this Rangers team looked as if it might be the best to stop the Penguins dominant scoring attack which features stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marian Hossa. The Rangers stellar defense and elite goalie Henrik Lundqist could be the only ones up for the job. Not so much.
The Pens haven't been halted much, if at all. So heading into Game 4 at the Garden, it was looking as if the Pens would complete their second straight sweep and cruise into the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Pens came out flying, creating several chances and nearly scoring on several close calls but Lundqvist came up huge on each occasion. After a fantastic rush that ended up with him getting bowled over by a charging Evgeni Malkin, Lundqvist turned aside a rather weak penalty shot attempt from Geno in which Malkin basically stopped and tried to go high, glove side.
The Rangers were getting a few chances here and there as the game progressed but a nice play by Jagr in which he used defenseman Sergei Gonchar as a screen before firing a shot between Gonchar's legs put the Rangers up 1-0.
Lundqvist would continue to stand on his head as the Rangers added an insurance marker and picked up their first win in the series.
Firstly, my hats off to Lundqvist. The guy stood on his head tonight and was the only reason the Pens didn't run away with this game. He's played well for most of the series and it's a shame that the Rangers offense hasn't really been able to give him a break.
Secondly, this doesn't mean a lot as the Pens were bound to lose a game somewhere. I fully expect them to close out the series in Game 5 at the igloo before taking on and demolishing the Flyers in the Conference Finals.
See you in Pittsburgh for Game 5.