The city of Atlanta suffered a brutal loss in Super Bowl LI, with the Atlanta Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead, by far the biggest blown lead in Super Bowl history.
A team that formerly resided in the city was dealt a tough loss of their own hours before at Madison Square Garden, as the New York Rangers topped the former Atlanta residents, Calgary Flames 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Embarking on a four game trek against Western Conference competition, the Rangers (33-18-1) worked on improving their mediocre home record. They again fell behind in the first period, as Dougie Hamilton scored for the Flames, but unlike previous MSG losses, the Rangers made sure the game wouldn’t get out of hand. Rick Nash scored a power play goal less than two minutes later, his 15th score of the season knotting things up at 1-1, in a period that featured 28 combined shots on goal, 15-13 in favor of the Rangers. Half of that tally was obtained in the second period, Calgary outshooting the Rangers 8-6. The Rangers appeared to take the lead in the final second period, but Nash’s deflection past Brian Elliott didn’t go through before time expired.
The third period was back and forth, featuring not just 22 combined shots but five goals as well. Michael Grabner got the Rangers on the board again, putting in his team-high 23rd goal of the season for the 2-1 lead less than two minutes into the frame. Calgary struck back, with Troy Brouwer scoring his ninth of the year, but consecutive Ranger goals sealed things up. Chris Kreider kept pace with Grabner, nabbing his 21st of the season and tying his career high, before Jesper Fast tallied his fourth of the year, and first since December 13. Calgary edged closer when Matthew Tkachuk scored his 10th of the season, but Henrik Lundqvist was otherwise strong, finishing off a 29 save afternoon. Fast himself played a key role in the final sequence, blocking a shot before sending the puck out of the zone to ensure victory, the Rangers’ second in a a row.
The finale also featured a pair of fights, with Kris Versteeg challenging Pavel Buchnevich, while Kevin Klein dealt with Micheal Ferland. Versteeg was assessed a game misconduct for a fight strap violation on his jersey.
With the win, the Rangers will seek to continue their streak on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks (7:00, MSG).