FINAL SCORE: New York Rangers – 3 Pittsburgh Penguins – 1
SERIES SCORE: New York Rangers – 3 Pittsburgh Penguins – 3
FIRST PERIOD: The Rangers needed to come out and mimic their game five start if they were to have a chance at a good first period and forcing a game seven on Tuesday night. After the referee tripped up Derek Stepan on breakaway the fans at Madison Square Garden were VERY unhappy. However, they become very happy a little over three minutes in when Martin St. Louis scored the first goal of the game. This was an emotional goal for all on Mother’s Day just four days after his mother suddenly passed away, the garden crowd responded with “MAR-TY, MAR-TY” chants for several minutes. Almost exactly three minutes after that Hagelin threw a backhand shot past Marc-Andre Fleury and gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead and MSG exploded. However after that goal the Penguins began a very strong push-back, and with three minutes left in the period were fortunate enough to get a bounce off of Kevin Klein and past Henrik Lundqvist into the net. Each team received a power play opportunity during the period but there’s something funny about it, the first penalty came at nine minutes, Jussi Jokinen for a roughing on Chris Kreider, and when that was over Kreider took a roughing penalty on Jokinen. The period came to its end and the Rangers were up 2-1 in goals but down 15-14 in shots.
SECOND PERIOD: This period was fun, I liked this period. Five minutes into the period the Penguins took a too many men penalty, on the following power play Kreider sprang ahead on a breakaway, the puck went into the net but Kris Letang pushed Kreider into Fleury which somehow ended in Kreider getting a penalty and the goal being disallowed. The rivalry between these two teams has definitely been renewed, numerous shorthanded opportunities, two power plays for each team during the period and tons of “after the whistle activity.” With four minutes and thirty seconds left Derick Brassard scored his third goal in two games and regained the two goal lead for the Rangers for the second time in as many games. When the period ended there was a lot of pushing and shoving in front of Lundqvist, the penalties ended with Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and Brian Boyle in the penalty box and the Rangers would start the third period on the power play. The shot totals for the second period were even at 11, the Penguins out-shot the Rangers 26-25 so far in the game but the Rangers led 3-1.
THIRD PERIOD: The Rangers started the period on the power play, and it seemed like game five was just a temporary boost because they failed to capitalize for the fourth time tonight. After that power play was over the Rangers were given another one, failed to capitalize on the one minute they had before Mats Zuccarello took a penalty that cancelled it out. The capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden was alive and well this game, something we had not seen yet this series. The Rangers had plenty of opportunities and received yet another power play at 11:36 in the period, failing to capitalize yet again the Rangers were 0/6 on the power play tonight. Through all of this, Lundqvist remained impenetrable like a fortress making 36 of 37 games on the night and continued his stellar play when facing elimination games. The Rangers forced a game seven on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh with a 3-1 victory, the shot count for this game was 37-29 in favor of Pittsburgh.
P.S. During the scrum at the end of the second period, Lundqvist skating towards the locker room may have squirted some water in a falling Crosby’s face. Check this out: