It's tough to live up to the hype. To exceed it is rare, which is what makes Katz's Delicatessen so amazing.
I had easily the best pastrami on rye ever today at Katz's, a legendary New York joint that opened in 1888. I've been more of a Midtown Manhattan guy during my nine seasons on the beat, so I've eaten at Carnegie, Stage and several other delis in this meat Mecca. None -- none! -- compare to Katz's downtown.
The pastrami was so lean, so tasty. They slice it by hand (and knife) right in front of you and give you a few slices to much on while they glide the blade. And the two different types of pickles that come along for the ride were great, too.
If you think you might've heard of Katz's, it was featured on "Man vs. Food" and in the movie "When Harry met Sally." In a bit of happenstance because it was the only table available, I actually sat at the table where they filmed the famous Meg Ryan "yes, yes" scene.
How do I know? There was a big sign hanging over me that read, "Where Harry met Sally ... Hope you have what she had!" There was that, plus a bunch of people taking pictures around me while I chowed down.
The Williamsburg Bridge was nearby, so I walked over the East River across the bridge, a trek I read about years ago and finally got to take with the sun shining. I know I've said it before, but I love New York.
At the moment, Nathan Gerbe probably doesn't. The Sabres just finished their pregame skate, and the left winger is the healthy scratch as reported earlier.
The Madison Square Garden press box is still at ice level behind the net where Ryan Miller will play twice, but the press room has been moved across the ice because the Garden is undergoing a transformation. They are doing it in stages because the World's Most Famous Arena is busy all the time, unlike HSBC Arena. Hopefully, Terry Pegula, who owns a music recording company, can do something to get some more concerts there.
Back soon for puck drop for this Versus game.
7:09 p.m.: The Sabres are starting with Rob Niedermayer-Paul Gaustad-Jason Pominville, with Chris Butler-Tyler Myers on defense.
7:14 p.m.: For those of you who didn't know, Denis Potvin [stinks}, according to Rangers fans.
7:17 p.m.: Brad Boyes drops Derek Stepan with 15:15 left.
7:19 p.m.: First commerical hits with Sabres holding a 2-1 shot edge with no score with 13:12 left. Unlike last time here, I don't see David Letterman sitting at center ice. Going to see a taping of his show is still on my NYC to-do list.
7:23 p.m.: Potvin [stinks], and goalie Henrik Lundqvist stops Gaustad with 11:30 left.
7:28 p.m.: Quiet game with Buffalo holding a 4-1 shot edge with 8:44 left.
7:30 p.m.: Mike Grier dives to block Matt Gilroy''s shot with 8:09 left.
7:36 p.m.: Rangers start buzzing the Sabres' zone, forcing Miller to make stops on Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery. Michael Sauer, though, kills the momentum with an interference penalty with 3:00 left. The shots are 6-5 Buffalo.
7:39 p.m.: At the moment, Thomas Vanek gives the Sabres a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal with 2:45 to go. It'll change to Tyler Myers, though. The defenseman's shot from the point was deflected in front, but it struck Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, not Vanek.
7:43 p.m.: Sabres hit the dressing room with a 1-0 lead and 9-5 shot edge. As expected, the penalty killed the Rangers' flow.
8:03 p.m.: The Sabres go on the power play with 18:09 left when Wojtek Wolski gets called for boarding.
8:05 p.m.: Took a heck of a lot longer to get back to press box than I thought it would. Had to go charge computer during intermission, though. Saw Bill Daly and Chris Drury on the walk back. It was the real deputy commissioner and a picture of the former Sabres captain, who is done for the year.
8:07 p.m.: Rangers kill the penalty.
8:08 p.m.; Mike Weber goes for interference with 15:01 left.
8:11 p.m.: Sabres kill the penalty. I wish they had an electrical outlet in the press box. Never mattered withe the press room so close, but not that it's a walk I won't have time to head there for the second intermission to plug in. Battery says 2 hours, 41 minutes left -- which means with three minutes left in a tie game it's going to die and people in Olean won't get the story.
8:17 p.m.: Wolski goes off for tripping with 8:36 left. It's still 1-0 (goal officially changed to Myers), but Rangers have taken a 14-12 shot edge.
8:21 p.m.: I remember Jim Kelley would put a lot of stock in people's debuts (LaFontaine, Mogilny), and there's a goal that reminded me of him as Boyes scores with 7:00 left on the power play.
MORE ON THAT IN A MOMENT, BUT FIRST ... Athletic trainer Tim Macre just walked Vanek to the dressing room right below me with 6:49 left. Vanek wasn't putting much weight on his left leg.
8:25 p.m.: Rangers, with Weber in box for kneeing, score on the power play. Erik Christensen blows a shot from the point by Miller's glove with 6:15 left. It's 2-1 Buffalo.
8:28 p.m.: Cody McCormick and the Rangers' Artem Anisimov mix it up and go for roughing with 3:51 left. Actually, McCormick takes a few shots at Anisimov, who doesn't do anything until a linesman gets in the middle. Then he skated after McCormick.
8:32 p.m.: Steve Montador goes for holding with 3:09 left after Callahan skates around him for a scoring chance.
8:39 p.m.: Sabres head to intermission with a 2-1 lead, thanks to Miller's save on Stepan with 1:30 left. Rangers have a 21-20 shot edge.
8:55 p.m.: Vanek is back for the Sabres. Just prior to puck drop he tested the left leg with a quick start and hard stop.
9:01 p.m.: Miller gets his shoulder on a hard shot by Girardi iwith 16:40 left to keep it 2-1.
9:03 p.m.: Jochen Hecht gives the Sabres a 3-1 lead with 15:15 to go, tipping in Sekera's slap pass. Just 1:120 later, Anisimov scores to make it 3-2. With Miller down following a goal-mouth scramble, Anisimov lifts it high from the slot.
9:14 p.m.: Yup, there's the blinking low battery light. Damn. Gotta run to the other side of the rink. Jinxed myself.
9:18 p.m.: Still 3-2 with 7:37 left.
9:22 p.m.: A puck slips through Miller's pads, but he sweeps it away from the goal line to keep the score 3-2. There is 4:37 remaining.
9:29 p.m.: Sabres win, 3-2. Carolina won also, so the Sabres remain two points back of the final playoff spot with two fewer games played.