NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Rangers have won two straight games, but they’re not too pleased at the moment.
Can you blame them?
New York received a scare 3:28 into the third period when Brad Richards was shoved from behind into the half boards by Sabres right wing Patrick Kaleta. Kaleta was assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind and was given a game misconduct.
Richards was on the ice for nearly two minutes before being helped to the bench. He returned to the game.
“No need for it,” Richards said of the hit after New York’s 3-2 shootout win. “That’s not a hit that was ever in the game, I don’t think. That’s a little different than (a) headshot. That’s just stupidity.
“It’s not hockey. I don’t know what game he plays, actually. He doesn’t play hockey to begin with. It’s the same guy all the time.”
The Rangers were fuming after the game. Head coach John Tortorella called the hit “ridiculous” and “disgusting.”
“It’s probably one of the most dangerous hits I’ve seen,” Tortorella said. “It’s a lack of respect. Each team wants to beat the other team, but you need to respect what’s going on on the ice.”
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“It (ticks) you off, it gets you angry,” said defenseman Marc Staal. “It’s a cheap hit. The biggest thing is you do want to hurt them, you want to make them feel that. We were able to get two, but it doesn’t do that kind of hit any justice.”
Kaleta was not available for comment after the game.
“It was hard to tell how extreme it was. I’ll have to take a look at it. We have to be smarter in that situation,” Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said. “Pat is a heart and soul guy. He’s a competitor. He lays it on the line every game so he’s a guy, I’m sure, (that) is disappointed about it.”
Derek Stepan’s power-play goal seven seconds after the penalty tied the game at 1. The New York center screamed after the puck hit the back of the net.
“When you get a chance, 5-on-3, I think any time you’ve got to score goals,” Stepan said. “It’s a big-time goal. Anytime you get a 5-on-3, you’ve got to make it count. (Richards) steps in there and takes a pretty big hit. You want to make sure you pop one in there.
“(Richards is) as tough as nails.”
43seconds later, on the same power play, Rick Nash gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with his fifth of the season.
That’s great,” Tortorella said. “I’m glad we made them pay.”
Kaleta will have a hearing over the phone on Monday with NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.
“So the fact Kaleta’s 3 pm ET hearing with NHL is via phone means the maximum # of games he can be suspended is 5. So pick a #, 1 to 5,” McKenzie reported via Twitter.
Should the Rangers have done more in retaliation, or did they do enough talking on the ice? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…
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