Tonight, the New York Rangers have a golden opportunity to take a 2-0 series lead back home to Madison Square Garden. Game 2 of the Rangers vs. Penguins second round series begins at 7:30 PM on NBCSN.
It’s been a relaxing weekend knowing that the Rangers were able to take care of business in game 1 of the best of 7 series against the Penguins. Watching the game tonight shouldn’t be as stressful as usual knowing that worst comes to worst the Rangers will take a 1-1 series back to MSG. Scoring “two” goals in the overtime period against Marc-Andre Fleury is always a good time, but the Rangers need to come out ready to take this second game in Pittsburgh. In other words, the Rangers need to play like they did in the first, third and OT period of game 1 (let’s just forget that second period ever happened). Although the power play continued to struggle (0-4) in game 1, it at least looked a bit better than in the last 5 games of the Philly series. Baby steps right? Unlike round one, the penalty kill, through one game, looks to have refund their mojo. The PK went 4-4 on Friday and improves to 19-25 through the playoffs (76%). The Ranger’s special teams need to be on point if they look to come out victorious tonight and snap an 11 game losing streak when leading a series.
Who to watch tonight:
For the Rangers on offense I’m looking for Derick Brassard to finally break free. Scoring the overtime winner last game, his first of the post-season, I’m hoping we see the Derick Brassard from last year’s playoffs when he was arguably the best player. Along with his lone goal, Brassard has two assists racked up on the score sheet. On defense, I’m looking for Marc Staal to continue his stellar play. This might be the first year of the playoffs we have seen Staal completely healthy and man is it fun to watch. Along with his high hockey IQ, Marc is one of the best defenders with his stick in the entire league. He needs to be an x-factor for tonight and the rest of the series if the Rangers look to be successful.