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Rangers-Isles first NHL game broadcast in 3D

by Dave Lozo
NEW YORK -- The Rangers' play hasn't jumped out at anyone of late, but thanks to the miracle of technology, that all changed Wednesday.

The broadcast of Wednesday's game between the Rangers and Islanders at Madison Square Garden was aired by MSG Network in 3D, the first time a hockey game has ever been shown in that format.

Everyone from players to announcers were jumping off the television screen before and during the game. When the Rangers took the ice, it was as if they were jumping onto the ice and into your living room.

There aren't many TVs with 3D capability, but that could change down the road.

"When you go back to 1998, MSG was the first network to actually go out in HD. I remember at the time, there was not a lot of HD sets, and people were concerned with how quickly they'd roll out," explained MSG Media President Michael Bair.

"With 3D, the sets are already on sale and some major manufacturers have already run out of sets in the first couple of weeks. I think you're going to see a huge curve in terms of these sets being sold. I think it's very important to get ahead of it and learn how to produce these games."

The 3D broadcast featured no commercials and much lower angles than a regular broadcast. There were also less sharp cutaways, as that effect hurts the experience when watching in 3D, according to Bair.

About 2,500 fans poured into The Theater at MSG to watch the game in 3D, and there were former Rangers greats and few celebrities on hand to watch the game. Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Mike Richter, all members of the 1994 Stanley Cup team, donned the glasses.

"This is frigging cool," Messier said with a laugh during the pregame introductions.

Even Chloe Sevigny, star of HBO's "Big Love," was on hand for the event.

It will be interesting to see if the marriage between 3D and MSG will be a match made in Heaven and whether more networks will decide to join the partnership in the future.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter at: @DLozoNHL
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