The Rangers offense mustered just 17 shots on goal as the Blueshirts dropped their first playoff home game to the Penguins, 3-1, failing to consistently get the forwards involved and pressure Matt Murray, who was making his first NHL playoff appearance.
Murray made the surprise return from his head injury, replacing Jeff Zatkoff and making 16 saves on 17 shots and never facing a ton of pressure. The Penguins dominated on the defensive front, getting good contributions from Kris Letang, Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley.
It’s not like the Rangers played bad defensively though. In fact, they played extremely well for large parts of this game. Marc Staal played his best game of the playoffs in limited ice time, Brady Skjei played nearly 20 minutes, mostly with Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers benefitted from the return of their captain, and he played very well in all areas of the ice. It didn’t look like he missed any time at all, making some good defensive reads, contributed to the offensive game and handling his defensive assignments against guys like Crosby and Malkin very well. Read the rest of this entry
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
This matchup seems quite familiar.
For the third consecutive season, the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will face off in the playoffs, as the long time rivalry between the teams continues to intensify through intense playoff matchups.
The Rangers have won both of the playoff series in the past two years, including a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit in 2014 after rallying around the death of Martin St. Louis’ mother. That series saw the double goal in overtime from Benoit Pouliot, a St. Louis goal on Mothers’ Day, and a clutch Game 7 win with some excellent goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers (39-23-7) and Penguins (36-24-8) played for the third time this season, but it was the Penguins winning for the second time in this season series, beating the Rangers in an intense game 5-3.
This also marked the first time that the Rangers lost back-to-back games since December 18th and 20th. They’ve won just two of their last six games (2-3-1) and they’re just three points ahead of the Islanders, but the Isles have three games in hand. They’ve also lost each of their last two home games.
The home team came out fast, recording four shots on goal in just the first three minutes of play. Brassard, who missed the game against Detroit to the flu, drove hard to the net. His long rebound went to Fast, but Fleury denied him. Read the rest of this entry