NEW YORK – You can forgive Rangers coach John Tortorella for biting his lip when asked about the goaltender interference call on Marion Gaborik with four seconds left in the game, since the last time he criticized the referees, it cost him $30,000.
But make no mistake, Tortorella probably wanted to say a few choice words about referees Dan O’Rourke and Dean Morton because it was clear in the replays Anton Volchenkov pushed Gaborik into Martin Brodeur, allowing the a clear net for Artem Anisimov to tie the game at 1.
However, that goal was waved off and Gaborik was put into the box for three seconds, robbing the Rangers of at least one point and possibly two in the tainted 1-0 Devils win at the Garden.
“He’s on his all the way from the hash-mark,” said defenseman Marc Staal. “Only Gabby knows if he’s putting his weight on him, so he can’t stop. It would be nice to have that one.”
It would be nice because the Rangers put in a great effort in this game, and outside of the first 10 minutes of the affair, the Blueshirts outplayed the Devils, including a 15-1 shot effort in the third period.
But one thing stopped the Rangers from rolling…
The Hall of Fame netminder turned back the clock tonight and partied like it was 2002 stopping all 30 Rangers shots, and for his first shutout of the year
“I thought some of it had to so with us putting pressure on them,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think they want to pull back, but we really had a good third period. The difference was Brodeur. He made some pretty good saves in the third period You’ve got to give them credit.”
Also credit the Devils taking advantage of of Ranger mistakes. With Stu Bickel in the box for holding, David Clarkson was able to score the New Jersey’s lone goal. And credit the team for having it stand.
“That’s what happens when our penalty killing has been washing out our power play,” Tortorella said. “Again, they score one, we don’t and that’s the difference in the game.”
That and one favorable call in the Devils favor. Yes, the Rangers are sitting pretty on top of the standings in the NHL, but one point could be the difference in the President’s Trophy, home ice in the later rounds or even a favorable matchup in the first round of the playoffs.
This point could cost the Blueshirts.
And Tortorella didn’t have to say anything to remind anyone of that.