Rangers 4, Panthers 3 (shootout)

Maybe you think hockey stinks. Perhaps you’re of the opinion that the whole guys on skates thing is way too Ice Capades. Or maybe you’ve bought into Larry Brooks’ assertion that the new look, intimidation-free Neutered Hockey League has cut the heart out of the game.

Far be it for me to challenge any of your deeply held beliefs, but I’m gonna have to spell it out for you. Unless and until Nate Robinson becomes Earl Monroe reincarnated, the New York Rangers are the most entertaining big league team in the tri-state area. And yes, I’m including the Carter/Kidd/Jefferson Nets when making that assertion.

Dominic Moore’s tying goal with 3 seconds remaining in regulation tonight helped set the stage for Peter Prucha and Henrik Lundquist’s shootout heroics, the former scoring the only goal of the session, the latter denying all Florida shooters.

The Atlantic Division leading Rangers have now won 2 shootouts in their past 3 games ; the Panthers have lost 6 in a row.

It was a disappointing night for Panthers goalie / former Islanders prospect Roberto Luongo, though his sleeve art for Glenn Branca’s ‘The Ascension’ is a personal favorite of mine, and I’m sure he’ll sleep better tonight now that I’ve said so publicly.