May 9, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers center Brad Richards (left) and right wing Mats Zuccarello (right) celebrate a goal by defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers Poll: 5/11/14


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

 

Good morning New York Rangers fans and happy game day! The Rangers are back in New York at Madison Square Garden because they forced a game six with a 5-1 game five victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Going into game five the Rangers were down 3-1, but are now down 3-2 in the series, a place they’ve found themselves at least once each of the last two years. Today’s question should be obvious, can the Rangers complete the comeback and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in this series?

There are a few things to consider before you take a vote on this, let me share them with you.

During games two, three, and four it can be debated that the Rangers lack of heart and desperation were the reasons they lost. Whether their performance in game five was due to their backs being against the wall, or the fact that the team had rallied around Martin St. Louis‘ situation, the Rangers played with heart. I’m going to go ahead and assume that it’s a bit of both, historically, the Rangers play well when their facing elimination. However the post game comments from teammates show that everyone in the locker room was there to support St. Louis in his time of need. In case you missed it, France St. Louis, Martin’s mother suddenly passed away on Thursday. After visiting his father in Montreal, they both decided his mother would want him to be there, which the Rangers immediately rallied around.

Henrik Lundqvist, who for years has been the team’s anchor needs to be so now more than ever. According to the NHL’s Public Relations department, Lundqvist is 8-2 in his last 10 games facing elimination, with a .953 save percentage and a 1.38 goals against average. If you remember back to last season, the Rangers were down 3-2 to the Washington Capitals going into game six at the garden on Mother’s Day. Lundqvist went on to post back-to-back shutouts in games six and seven. Lundqvist needs to and will presumably be the team’s rock over the next two games, which is bad news for the Penguins.

Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider. These two players make a difference, and it showed heavily in game five. Kreider tallied two points in game five, scoring the first goal game, a power play goal that snapped a 0-36 streak, and an assist on Kevin Klein‘s empty netter. I don’t know what has bothered McDonagh, but it seemed to be a non-issue in game five as he played his best game of these playoffs so far. He registered a goal, a power play goal (the second one of game five) and an assist on Kreider’s first goal. These two are key components of the Rangers success, and if they play the way they did in game five the Rangers have a chance in game six.

So those are the components I’ll leave you with, a team rally cry around St. Louis, the play of Lundqvist, and the return of Kreider and McDonagh. What do you think Rangers fans can the team pull off the comeback? Vote in the poll below!

Can the Rangers complete the comeback and win their series against the Penguins?

  • Yes (88%, 14 Votes)
  • No, the Rangers will force a game 7, where they will lose. (13%, 2 Votes)
  • No, the Penguins will win tonight at MSG (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Tags: Chris Kreider Henrik Lundqvist Martin St. Louis New York Rangers Ryan McDonagh