Poor second period, O’Blindoran doom Pens

My Prediction

Rangers 4, Pens 2

Even Strength Offense: D

They did score two even-strength goals, but basically generated squat most of the night. They only had 17 5-on-5 shots on goal. They put a paltry two pucks on the net in the third after Dupuis brought them within a goal. The Rangers basically kept the Pens at bay all night, and Luckqvist didn’t even have to be that good to win it.

Even Strength Defense: D

They didn’t give the Rangers a lot, but what chances they did allow were doozies. Another lazy backcheck by Kennedy allowed the eminent John Mitchell to wrist one past Fleury. Then they just backed off on Richards and let him come down the slot for another one.

Power Play: C

They could have blown this game open in the first period had the PP come through. After much flailing, they finally did net one on a great pass from Sid to Neal. They got only one chance the rest of the game, and it was horrible.

Penalty Kill: F

Well, they WERE on a roll. That ended last night the moment Gaborik completely undressed Kunitz at the blue line to set up a tap-in. The Rangers got another about 10 minutes later when Orpik and Martin failed to tie up Gaborik in front.

Goaltending: D

Two bad games in a row from Fleury. While a couple of the goals on the power play weren’t his fault, the two wristers that got by him certainly were. The Pens were getting schooled, and they needed the goalie to bail them out. He didn’t. Instead, he let in a couple of questionable goals that pretty much buried them. Not acceptable. He should have been yanked after the third goal.

Overall: D

The Rangers were a far superior team last night, and they definitely wanted it more. They outhit the Pens 43-24. They won 70 percent of the draws. They gave the Pens only three shots on goal in the third period. They just squashed the Pens with that second period barrage.

And now, the rest of the story…

Sid: C

I guess it’s a good thing when you’re pretty much invisible and still have two assists. But they need more than one shot on goal out of Sid, too.

Geno: C

Amazingly, he was the third star. But other than his goal, he was fairly invisible too. Well, except when he was making blind passes that got intercepted…

Jordan Staal: F

I mentioned a couple games ago that he just doesn’t bring it every night. And this was one of those nights. He was a putrid 3/14 on draws and did nothing otherwise.

Tyler Kennedy: F

Keep playing horrendous defense like you have lately and you’ll find yourself without a spot on this team.

Deryk Engelland: F

To think people were clamoring for him in the playoffs last year. He is, at best, a number ⅞ kind of guy. And last night he was forced to be a 4 and was totally exposed.

Whining: A

Power plays before Totorella whined to O’Blindoran: Pens 3, Rangers 0. After? Rangers 6, Pens 1. Take note, HCDB.

Versus Studio Show: F

Not only is Mike Milbury a part of it, but they are just plain incompetent. While doing scores between periods, Liam McHugh twice said the Blues were looking to expand their lead when the highlight on the screen clearly showed the game was 1-1.

Striped Buffoonery

Dan O’Blindoran outdid himself last night. He let a coach (Tortorella) dictate the calls on the ice. He was thoroughly intimidated by Torts and the crowd. The call that had me most incensed was the final one on Kunitz. If someone can explain to me how shouldering a guy from the side can become boarding, I’m all ears. But it was just a gutless topper to a gutless evening by O’Blindoran.

Icehole of the Game

Rarely do I give it to a ref, but I have to. When that ref is as gutless as O’Blindoran, I have no choice.

Minard Moment

Any of the half dozen blind passes Geno had stolen.

Monk Mment

It has to be the Ranger giving the puck right to Neal 10 feet from Luckqvist. Neal didn’t score, but I did do a double take.

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.