|Rangers 8-1-1 in past 10 games
on the road
The Otters have a hard time in the new year, despite their 1-10-2 record on home ice fans are still coming out to support the team including three consecutive sellouts, and a near sellout a night before hosting the Rangers. Whether it is the two games in two nights at home or the fact that Otters fans are rather sick of viewing the Rangers on ice slaughter it was obvious that this game was not overly well attended as only 4,005 (well below the season average) crossed through the turnstiles. The 4,005 fans who did show up were given a glimmer of hope by: Mike Rice who connected on the first of eight Otters powerplay opportunites on the night and later on by Rob Hisey. The Otters weren't just outplaying the Rangers they were outshooting them, something which very rarely happens to the Rangers, but on this night happened for the second consecutive time in two nights. The ultra-efficient penalty kill, currently operating at a league-high 88% clip was stellar, after allowing the early goal and actually contributed to the Rangers offensive twice scoring both the go-ahead and insurance markers for the Rangers.
Michael Richards, the game's first star, finally broke the near half game long shutout for: T.J. Aceti, on the Rangers' man-advantage. Soon after: Rafal Martynowski would knot the score at one a piece. While the Otters were being sloppy on a penalty kill nearing the end of the period, Matt Grennier found Michael Richards all alone, and he made little mistake beating: T.J. Aceti and deflating the entire Otters team in the process. An Otters team which for the first time this season had a very strong lead to build upon in the early going not only had it evaporated, but during a chance to regain the lead the Otters made a critical error which lead to the Rangers taking a 3-2. The Otters would not learn from their mistakes and Peter Kanko would strip the puck on another man advantage in the third period giving the Rangers their 2nd shorthanded goal of the game, with only one second remaining in a minor to Gregory Campbell for hooking. Adam Keefe's 6th of the season would chase Aceti in the third period.
Adam Keefe got into two scraps and several
Otters tried to get him into a third, which would result in an automatic
game misconduct as well as a suspension. Again the Rangers were unable
to dress both: McCaffery and O'Nabigon. The loss was another in a
succession of crtical ones for the Otters who are currently out of a playoff
spot. The Rangers have won all 7 meetings with the Otters this season,
and 8 in a row overall, dating back to the final head-to-head matchup of