The Rangers have lost 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden to tie the series up 1-1 going back to Pittsburgh on Monday for Game 3. The Rangers did not look good all game long even though they got 3 goals. Pittsburgh just plainly out played them from start to finish.
The Rangers managed to get on the board first when Derek Stepan fired one past Marc-Andre Fleury, assisted by J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh. The Penguins started the trend in the first period, of getting penalties and not being punished on them, with two penalties in the first period.
The Pens took the game in the 2nd period, when they got a power play goal from Brandon Sutter, assisted by Kunitz and Downie, after Hagelin tripped Taylor Chorney, which was a bad call from the ref. The Rangers then got punished twice by Sidney Crosby, assists by Patric Hornqvist and Ian Cole on the first goal and Chris Kunitz and Paul Martin on the 2nd goal. In the second period the Penguins committed 3 penalties, of which the Rangers did not score on any of them.
In the 3rd the Rangers finally cashed in on a power play opportunity, when Derrick Brassard put a rebound past Marc-Andre Fleury in the open net. After that power play goal, the crowd was in it, and it was only a 1 goal game, the Rangers looked like they might win it. However, the Penguins swiftly shut the door on that. 9:41 into the 3rd period, Chris Kunitz scored on the power play to make it a 2 goal game once again, assisted by Brandon Sutter and David Perron. With about 5 seconds left Rick Nash made it a 1 goal game again, but that was as close as it would get. The Rangers were again on the power play twice in that period and only scored once.
In the two-playoff games thus far the Rangers power play has been atrocious and well, not cup winner worthy. This game they went 1-7 on the power play and in game 1 they went 1-5, that’s a total of 2 for 12 on the power play, in two games, that’s really bad! The coaching staff needs to address this problem and change it if they want to win the Stanley Cup this year.
In a sad note, tonight was the last game that Rangers legendary anthem singer, sang the national anthem. The crowd gave him an ovation, and he was almost in tears when the crowd was giving him the ovation. He said his most memorable anthem at the Garden was prior to game 7 of the Stanley Cup when he could barely hear the words he was singing the crowd was so loud. He had been singing less and less in the last few seasons.
The Rangers should bench Dan Boyle, who frankly has shown he is a liability on defense for the Rangers, this entire year but is more magnified right now, and play Chris Summers, one of the other defensemen they got in the Keith Yandle trade. Dan Boyle was a -1 in Game 1 and a 0 in this game, in terms of plus/minus. The team should wake up after this loss and have this as a turning point in the run to what they hope is the Cup, not first round elimination.