You'll definitely be hearing about this one for a while. The Rangers lost to the Devils by a final score of 1-0 tonight, although it sure didn't look like it originally. With the seconds ticking down in the third period and the Rangers trailing with an extra skater on, Ryan Callahan fired a shot on goal that Martin Brodeur kicked out. Artem Anisimov found the rebound and put the puck in the back of the net, but the goal was waved off after the officials called a goaltender interference call on Marian Gaborik, who made contact with Brodeur after he was clearly pushed into him by Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Gaborik did everything he possibly could to hold up and avoid making contact, but it was to no avail. The Rangers were called for an absolutely bogus call and lost the game 1-0.
Click below to read more on what John Tortorella, Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist had to say about the disallowed goal.
John Tortorella refused to comment on the call after the game, but he was as irate as I ever saw him right after the call was made. Torts was screaming obscenities at the refs after the call and after the game was over when he walked out on the ice. I honestly don't know how he didn't rip the refs a new one in his postgame press conference, but after he was fined $30,000 for (correctly) criticizing the officiating after the Winter Classic I'm sure John Tortorella did all he possibly could to bite his tongue from saying anything. Ryan Callahan seemed to follow the lead of Torts after the game when he basically said there was nothing the team could do and they just had to move forward. Marian Gaborik, however, wasn't so willing to let it go.
“I don’t understand,” Gaborik said of the call. “It’s frustrating. If I would have run him, I wouldn’t say a word. But the guy (Anton Volchenkov) pushes me into him. I tried to open my leg for a pass, I tried to stop. But he just pushed me into Brodeur.”
Also, Henrik Lundqvist seemed to take a shot at Martin Brodeur's tendency to flop around in net to draw calls from his postgame remarks.
“If a goalie sells it that good, yeah, they’re going to call it,” Lundqvist said. “There was some contact but their guy pushed him. A lot of times, they’ll let that go.”
As for the game itself, the Rangers weren't very good to put it bluntly. They let the Devils control the pace of the game and never really tested Martin Brodeur, even though they outshot the Devils 30-22 (including 15-1 in the third period). Brodeur left many juicy rebounds all night long that the Rangers didn't pounce on, and if they played the rest of the game with the intensity they played with in the third period I'm sure the game would've had a different outcome. Brodeur made a few above average saves when he had to, but overall I thought it was a lackluster performance by the Rangers' offense.
Some other notes worth mentioning:
- Stu Bickel took a holding penalty in the first period that led to the only goal of the game, scored by David Clarkson on the power play. Of course, it would be ridiculous to blame Bickel solely for this loss, but this might be the opening Steve Eminger needed to get back in the lineup. Eminger is now fully recovered from his separated shoulder and I would be pretty surprised at this point if he isn't in the lineup for the Rangers' next game on Thursday night. Bickel played only 9:55 tonight.
- Marian Gaborik was, once again, flying all night long and I just had that feeling that if the Rangers were going to score in this game he would've been directly involved. Sure enough, he was - or at least should've been if the referees did their job correctly. Gaborik registered three shots on goal, and John Tortorella reunited the GAS line of Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik by the second period of the game. It was really the only line that was noticeable for the Rangers all night long.
- Late in the third period, John Tortorella was using Brad Richards on a line with Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Rupp after the trio created a scoring chance that almost led to a Rangers goal. To be honest, Brad Richards just looks lost right now and I don't know what needs to be done to get him going. I've been clamoring for a long time to put him back on Gaborik's line, and I still stand by that. With Stepan and Gaborik both struggling to score goals lately, there's not much downfall to giving it a shot for a few games to see if the switch works.
- Brandon Prust dropped the gloves with Eric Boulton and Mike Rupp dropped the gloves with Cam Janssen simultaneously just two seconds into the game. I can honestly say I never saw that before. Rupp appeared to injure his left hand during the fight - the same hand that's been bothering Rupp since Eric Boulton slashed him on it the last time the two teams met - but he remained in the game and John Tortorella said it wasn't an issue after the game.
You can check out the boxscore to the game here.
The Rangers are off tomorrow before taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at the Garden.