New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 5/5/14
Pittsburgh Penguins (51-24-7) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
NHL Hockey: Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: New York Rangers / Pittsburgh Penguins --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Rangers and Penguins meet up for the second time in as many days as the series shifts back to New York on even terms after a Pittsburgh win yesterday.
The Penguins rallied after a disappointing series opening overtime loss on Friday night by shutting out the Rangers to the tune of a 3-0 final on Sunday evening netting the series up at a game apiece. Pittsburgh played one of its most complete games and Marc-Andre Fleury got the better of Henrik Lundqvist in what is going to be a developing storyline all series long as the Jekyll and Hyde outings from Fleury will make or break the season. Evgeni Malkin potted home the empty netter to seal it late while Kris Letang and Jussi Jokinen added singles as well to account for the Penguins offense and while Sidney Crosby remained silent on the scoresheet he has still an instrumental part of his team’s success. The Pens will look to improve their play on the road as they head into MSG to take on a Rangers team who has stolen home ice advantage and will be doing their best to preserve that edge as this series is shaping up to be in it for the long haul.
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The Rangers stole the series opener with an overtime marker from Derrick Brassard but the New York offense couldn’t get anything going on Sunday and as such they find themselves heading back to MSG on even terms instead of up 2-0. New York is a very scrappy team who has a lot of success on the road this season but so far in the playoffs they haven’t been able to weather the storm of their opponents’ pressure on home ice. New York heads back home for the next two contests and have a great opportunity at pushing this series to the brink if they can sweep both games at MSG but with the Penguins having the roster they do there is no counting out their ability to rally even in hostile environments. Through the first two games I would have to say the momentum lies with the Pens and after Sunday’s victory I think they have the edge here mentally despite being on the road and while the New York crowd will play a role I think Pittsburgh will persevere and come away with the series lead.