NEW YORK – Today, former Met prospect Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in baseball history.
Later on Ottawa Senators Craig Anderson did the hockey equivalent to the New York Rangers. Stopping an onslaught of Ranger pucks, Anderson came out with 41 saves in the Sens 2-0 win over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead.
“You’re going to run into hot goalies and some good defense in the playoffs,” said Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. “It just comes down to one game and we have to go to Ottawa and win the hockey game. We have a resilient group and we have confidence. We have to win that one and come back here and see what happens.”
Just one Senators win will make the Ranger season a failure and erase the 109 points earned by the Blueshirts. Just one loss in the next two will send the No. 1 seed Rangers home in a year where they were supposed to be a Stanley Cup run.
And it’s something the Rangers will try desperately prevent. Game 6 on Monday will be in Ottawa where Henrik Lundqvist will try to steal another game. It something he did in Game 3, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
“It’s been a tight series all along, so we have to regroup and we have to sit down tomorrow and talk about a few things and get ready,” Lundqvist said. “This is far from over.”
Sure but the Rangers will be without their best forward Brian Boyle, who suffered a concussion on a high hit from Chris Neil. A hearing for NHL Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan will probably happen tomorrow, but coach John Tortorella things Neil is already guilty as charged.
“Well, they have a blueprint. It was probably the exact same hit as Torres,” Tortorella said. “Different part of the ice. Launches himself, headshot. The pucks at the goal line when he’s hit. So the blueprint’s there. I’m sure he’s a repeat offender, too. Not much research to be done there.”
Torres is Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes, who got a 25 game suspension on a high hit on Chicago’s Marion Hossa in their series. It remains to be seen if Shanahan will view these two incident the same.
Nevertheless, the Rangers will need a win on Monday. They have Lundqvist and rookie Carl Hagelin will be back after serving three days for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson. And Tortorella things rookie Chris Kreider will play a greater role.
“I see [Kreider] may get more minutes because some guys just simply haven’t done the job,” Tortorella said. “We’re at that situation right now, whether they be young, old, or medium-aged, they’re going to play if you’re playing well.”
And that’s important, because the Rangers will need scoring. Lundqvist can’t do it all by himself and the Rangers will need all the scoring they can get up in Ottawa.
Today, Jason Spezza broke out for the Sens with two goals. On Monday, the Rangers will need a hero.