Rangers host the Penguins and attempt to sweep the home-and-home series
After scoring five unanswered goals in a fantastic comeback win in Pittsburgh, the Rangers (14-5-1) now get to host their Metropolitan Division rivals at Madison Square Garden, looking to beat the Penguins (11-5-3) for the second consecutive game.
The Rangers surrendered two goals to rookie Jake Guentzel in the first period, with the first goal coming on his first NHL shift and his first NHL shot. However, the last 40 minutes were very impressive from the Rangers, seeing them do a better job defensively while scoring five unanswered goals from five different players.
Now the two teams faceoff for the second of five matches this season, and the first of three at Madison Square Garden. Kevin Hayes led the Rangers with a goal and an assist on Monday, Ryan McDonagh picked up a pair of assists, and Michael Grabner scored his 12th goal of the season, tied for the league lead. Read the rest of this entry
Season ending embarrassment is exactly what the doctor ordered
The Rangers were one minute away from walking into the locker room with a one goal lead after two periods in game three. Instead, Sidney Crosby deflected a puck over the outstretched leg of Henrik Lundqvist with 42 seconds remaining in the period to tie that pivotal game at one.
Pittsburgh would go on to win 3-1, take a 2-1 series lead and never looked back. Alain Vigneault called it the turning point of the series. Perhaps he’s right in some regard.
The Rangers season ended the second Crosby got a stick on that pass. Through a maze of ineffective Rangers penalty killers, Phil Kessel was easily able to make a pass to the best hockey player in the world, sitting wide open on the doorstep. It was a goal the Rangers couldn’t let up at that point in the game, series or season. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers bring series to MSG for Game 3; McDonagh a maybe for tonight
After splitting the first two games of the series, the Rangers are back on home ice for the first time in the playoffs, looking to pull ahead of the Penguins in Game Three.
The first two games of the series were played in an electric atmosphere at the CONSOL Energy Center. They finally solved Jeff Zatkoff, scoring four goals in 8:01 and skating away with a 4-2 win and tying the series at one game apiece.
But now, the Rangers are back at Madison Square Garden, where they took advantage of home ice and posted a record of 27-10-4 in the regular season. Despite that, Pittsburgh has won 15 of the last 24 games they’ve played at MSG, regular season and playoffs included. It’ll take another complete effort from New York tonight if they want a win. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers look to even up the series in Pittsburgh; McIlrath back in the lineup
After a Hornqvist hat trick and a Penguins win in Game 1, the Rangers will look to steal home-ice advantage and even up the series today at the CONSOL Energy Center.
In the playoffs, the road team aims to take just one of the games away from their home stadium, and that’s what the Rangers need to do here. A win tonight would send the series back to MSG, with the series tied at one, and playing on home ice where the Rangers have an impressive record of 27-10-4.
The Penguins were backstopped by third string goalie Jeff Zatfkoff, who was stellar in Game 1, making 35 saves and keeping the Blueshirts at bay. Pittsburgh’s top players outperformed the Rangers best players, and some shoddy defense on New York’s part cost them a game. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, Patric Hornqvist scored a hat trick and picked up an assist, and Kris Letang had a pair of assists. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers open round one on the road vs Pittsburgh; Fleury a game time decision
After a tumultuous regular season, the Rangers open up the playoffs tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins, looking to get things started on the right foot in their latest quest for a Stanley Cup Championship.
This marks the third consecutive season that the Rangers and Penguins will meet in the playoffs, and the second straight year that they play in Round 1. Two years ago, the Rangers came back from a 3-1 series deficit, without having home ice advantage. Last year, Derick Brassard opened the scoring 28 seconds into the playoffs and Carl Hagelin sent the Penguins home packing after a Game 5 overtime winner. The Rangers had home ice in that series.
The mentality in the Rangers locker room since training camp was getting back to the playoffs and finishing what they’ve started, what they’ve been so close to accomplishing in three of the last four seasons. They haven’t made it easy on themselves, and face a tough road ahead, but this is a team full of hungry guys as well as veterans who realize their window may be closing. And that makes this playoff series a special one, and one with potentially a lot more riding on it. Read the rest of this entry