Rangers lose, Gaborik in doghouse
New York Rangers coach John Tortorella has little patience for
mistakes and a big one by leading scorer Marian Gaborik on the New
Jersey Devils’ tying goal got him an extended stay on the bench in
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Gaborik was benched roughly 13 minutes in the Rangers’ 3-2 loss
to the Devils on Wednesday night after making a couple of bad plays
on Ryan Carter’s goal late in the second period that tied it at
Until that point, the Rangers seemed in control, but the tally
by the Devils’ fourth-line center changed the momentum and a
deflected goal early in the third period by David Clarkson proved
to be the winner as New Jersey evened the series.
Tortorella refused to talk about sitting Gaborik, who was a
41-goal scorer in the regular season, or say almost anything about
his team’s performance, other than it needs to improve.
Gaborik shed a little light on his being benched.
”On the second goal, I didn’t get the puck out, I guess. I
don’t know. You’ll have to ask him,” Gaborik said.
Besides not getting the puck out, Gaborik also seemed to fail to
do what all his teammates have done this season. He didn’t block
the shot by defenseman Bryce Salvador from the blue line.
Gaborik seemed to stand straight up like a pencil and didn’t
stretch his body out to block the shot. Carter tipped it and
goaltender Henrik Lundqvist didn’t have a chance to stop it.
”I have to do a better job there, on the second goal,” Gaborik
said. ”We had some momentum and they took over. I have to do a
better job on the wall and . it’s a series. We just have to come
back into their building and play better.”
The late goal carried over into the third period and Clarkson
got the winner 2:31 into the final period when the Rangers had
trouble clearing the puck. Adam Henrique took a shot from the top
of the faceoff circle and Clarkson knocked it into the net with a
chopping motion with his stick.
The goal was reviewed to see if it was a high stick, but it was
allowed to stand.
”When it’s such a high tip, that’s a tough play,” Lundqvist
said. ”I saw the puck, but after he touched it, it was just too
tough to recover. The next game we just have to correct a few
things. – the battles and stick positioning. We just have to talk
about that and correct it.”
New York seemed to control after Marc Staal and rookie Chris
Kreider scored second-period power-play goal to give New York a 2-1
However, Carter’s goal seemed to change the momentum.
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan downplayed the game.
”We’re a confident team going into third periods,” he said.
”I don’t think it changed our mindset at all, going into the
It changed Gaborik’s playing time. He did not return to the ice
until less than 9 minutes were left and the only reason he probably
did was because the Rangers needed a goal.
”The first period we were kind of slow, we didn’t get pucks
like we wanted to,” Gaborik said. ”Second period we did better,
but it has to be better overall, try to create some zone time – in
their zone – and keep some pucks in and get to the net. We didn’t
do that enough.”
The series will shift to New Jersey for the next two games, with
Game 3 scheduled for Saturday.
”We’ve been in this situation before – obviously, you want to
be up, 2-0, but we just have to get back to their building and play
better,” Gaborik said.