Ranger fans thought they'd have to choose between watching their favorite hockey club in person or the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.
As things turned out, many were able to do both.
A stinko performance by the Rangers started fans for the exits early in the second period Monday night, and the Pittsburgh Penguins proceeded to a 9-4 rout.
"We needed it for our confidence and we needed it for our morale," said John Cullen, Pittsburgh's leading scorer. "We were getting killed (recently) and our goalies were facing 40 shots every night. Tonight we played good 'D,' killed two 5-on-3's. We just played an overall good game."
New York, overall point leader in the NHL, has lost three of its last four - giving up 24 goals in the process. Ranger goalie John Vanbiesbrouck left after 20 minutes in favor of Mike Richter, who allowed three goals in his first 6:06. Bernie Nicholls scored two goals and an assist for New York.
Pittsburgh lost defenseman Zarley Zalapski - its best plus-minus player - with a second-period concussion.
Whalers 4, Canadiens 2
At Montreal, Kevin Dineen scored two goals, one of them just 10 seconds into the game, leading Hartford. The Whalers scored three times in the middle period, moving into third place in the Adams Division, one point ahead of Buffalo. The crowd was announced at 16,143, but it actually was the smallest attendance of the season due to a storm that was expected to dump 10 inches of snow.
Devils 4, Jets 4
At Winnipeg, Ed Olczyk scored a power-play goal 41 seconds into the third period, completing a rally from a 3-1 deficit. Olczyk skated in front of goalie Sean Burke to deflect Fredrik Oluasson's shot from the point. New Jersey scored on its third, fourth and sixth shots of the game.