Montreal meltdown

I would be remiss if I didn't mention this.

I love to write about hockey because, above all, I am a fan. I find it funny that some 5,000 people have read pieces of this blog, but if they're informed or entertained - or annoyed - by what I write, then my job is done.

Now, speaking as a fan, I need to ask the New York Rangers one simple question ...HOW DO YOU BLOW A FIVE-GOAL LEAD???

New York had a 5-0 lead over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. With Jaromir Jagr drawing assists on New York's first four tallies, the Rangers had what seemed to be an insurmountable lead with just under 15 minutes to play in the second period.

No Rangers team had ever blown a five-goal lead. No Canadiens team had ever rallied from five goals down.

They found a way. Henrik Lundqvist - armed with his new $41.25 million deal - gave up two second-period goals to Michael Ryder. Former Ranger Alexei Kovalev and Mark Streit then tallied nine seconds apart early in the third before Kovalev scored his second of the game with 4:22 to play.

Saku Koivu completed the comeback with the only goal in the shootout.

It's games like these that make the grey hairs multiply.

CONGRATS TO CUJO: Curtis Joseph reached another milestone in his Hall of Fame career.

"Cujo" stopped 29 shots in his third game with the Calgary Flames in a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars.

The win was Joseph's 447th of his career, tying him with Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk for fourth on the all-time list, trailing Ed Belfour, Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.

"This feels good," Joseph said. "To be next to someone like Terry Sawchuk is a great honor."


1. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres: Vanek's starting to live up to that seven-year, $50 million deal he signed in the offseason. Vanek notched his second three-goal game in eight days _ capping the natural hat trick in overtime _ to lead Buffalo to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

2. Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago Blackhawks: The 'Bulin Wall finally played like one. Khabibulin stopped 38 shots for his first shutout in nearly a year, leading Chicago to a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. The win also snapped the Blackhawks' nine-game losing streak against the Northwest Division leaders.

3. Sergei Brylin, New Jersey Devils: With his scoring way down from the 40 points he had last season, Brylin had a goal and assist as the Devils scored twice in a 70-second span of the second period en route to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Brylin has just six goals and eight assists in 61 games this season.

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