Pittsburgh Penguins (51-24-7) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 7, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -112 / Pittsburgh Penguins +102 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
It was a story that New York Ranger fans have seen far too many times in the post season. The home club came out strong at Madison Square Garden, but despite the flashy names on the roster they were unable to get the job done. Rick Nash, brought in to be the big time goal scorer this club lacked in the playoffs again failed to put the puck in the back of the net. It's nothing new, and something that general manager Glen Sather realized could be a problem when he acquired Martin St. Louis at the trading deadline. St. Louis has had a reputation for being a big game player and has been one of the best point producers in the league over the last half decade. Since coming to the Blueshirts he's scored just three times, and Monday night in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins was not one of them. Brad Richards has upped his game this season, but he's nowhere near the elite play making center the Rangers thought he would be when they signed him as a free agent a few summers ago. It's the same old story for these boys on Broadway and this one might have been as frustrating as any of them. The Rangers earned numerous power plays yet again in this game, but for the 34th consecutive time in the post season they failed to capitalize. That, is yet another thing that Ranger fans have become used to in the playoffs. For a power play that had been much better all season long under head coach Alain Vigneault it has all but dried up completely. New York dominated play, barely allowing the Penguins possession time in the offensive zone. Then in the second period it was Marc Staal forgetting where Sidney Crosby was on the ice. Crosby skated down the left wing in on Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed the star center to beat him five-hole and give the Penguins the lead. It's a goal that Lundqvist can't allow, but as we've seen with the Rangers many times in the past, those types of things tend to happen come playoff time. Later in the second, with the Rangers once again fumbling on the power play, New York turned the puck over at the blue line as Jussi Jokinen exited the penalty box. Jokinen skated in all alone and yet again Lundqvist was beaten on a breakaway. The final score in the game, 2-0 in favor of Pittsburgh, did not reflect the play on the ice. The Rangers outshot the Penguins 35-15 in the game and did absolutely everything but get the puck by Marc-Andre Fleury. In the third period New York looked like a team that was already defeated. Playing their fifth game in seven nights and putting it all out there on the ice was tough enough, but not seeing any results for their hard work had them reeling. Pittsburgh has an opportunity to really take a stranglehold on this series because with how deflated the Rangers looked at the end of this one the odds of them coming back from a 3-1 series deficit seems slim, especially with two of the final three games in Pittsburgh.
New York needs to find a way to get a goal and relieve some stress. As if not scoring in 34 straight power play opportunities wasn't bad enouh, New York has now been shut out in back-to-back games. Pittsburgh did absolutey nothing to deserve to win in this one, but when your goaltender out plays the opponents and your teams buries their chances that's all that matters. Pittsburgh really is in a great position to take all the life out of New York, but they need to come with a better effort in Game 4. Until the Rangers prove they can find the back of the net, it's hard to like their chances against a club that has so much talent they can score with limited chances.