After a triumphant victory in game 3 of the series the Rangers weren't able to generate the emotion, nor the scoring chances that they had in the previous game. Both teams played very conservative games in this one and true to forum Mr. Nie had some adventures behind the Plymouth net, including a puck that was dangerously cleared up the center, but all in all the Whalers had a solid if not spectacular defensive plan to blanket the Rangers' offense while taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the best of seven. Looking forward the Rangers have to win each of their next three games with the Whalers in order to comeback in the series. The Rangers have only once in the history of the team returned from being down 3-1, and that was in the first round of the 1996 postseason when they at one point trailled the Barrie Colts 3-1 in their series only to comeback and win what is still thought of as one of the greatest Rangers' series ever.
The first period had little in the way of fireworks
until the two teams neared the midway point of the period, when Peter Franchin
whom had scored during the previous three games, took a minor for hooking.
While on the powerplay, Tim Sestito put a wrist shot on goal that appeared
to handcuff Topping in the Rangers' net. Initially he stopped the
shot, however the puck eventually would trickle through Topping and drop
into the net, causing what appeared to be a delayed reaction but the Plymouth
During the second period the Whalers took the play to the Rangers even more, but Brad Topping stood tall in the Rangers' net. He managed a really sharp poke check on John Mitchell, but late in the period, Boris Valabik took a roughing call when he tried to get one extra shot in after a big center ice hit. A poor discipline play by the big rookie, that would prove extremely costly for the Rangers. While on the powerplay, Mike Letizia found John Mitchell streaking from the top of the faceoff circle. Topping tried to go down and take away the bottom half of the net, but Mitchell got the puck under him as he slide down sideways.
The third period nearly got ugly several times.
Adam Keefe elected to give Whalers' netminder: Nie a little bit of a shot
after a puck was frozen early in the period drawing a 4-on-4 and a big
scrum, later on while emerging from the penalty box Sesito who entered
with Keefe seemed to send a message of his own, making more than incidental
contact with Brad Topping who emerged from the goal to redirect a puck
out of the zone and had his knee get clipped. Much like in the first
road game in Plymouth the Rangers' held the play during the third period.
They outshot the Whalers 14-9, carried the play but much like in game #2
of the series it was too little too late. The Rangers' did come as
close as a crossbar, and the Whalers did come as close to the empty net
as a puck that got on edge and started travelling wide at the last second.