New York Rangers, Ryan McDonagh Capture Game One Against Penguins


Behind the strong play of captain Ryan McDonagh, the New York Rangers snagged Game 1 in the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden

92. 2. 95. Final. 1

FIRST PERIOD: The New York Rangers wasted little time getting ahead, as Derick Brassard(1) cashed in his first of the playoffs, the benefactor of a beautiful breakout by Rick Nash(1) and Dan Girardi(1). The Garden faithful was already letting Marc-Andre Fleury hear it just a minute in.

Chris Kunitz interfered with Henrik Lundqvist at 6:02, resulting in a penalty. Taylor Chorney then interfered with Tanner Glass at 8:54, but no damage was done during the two minors thanks in large part to Fleury.

The Penguins were whistled once again at 14:33, as Blake Comeau was guilty of roughing Dominic Moore. Ryan McDonagh(1) made it count, rocketing home a slapshot at 15:16 from Keith Yandle(1) and Mats Zuccarello(1). The Penguins took yet another minor at 5:33, Steve Downie for crosschecking, but nothing came of the advantage. From start to finish, the first frame belonged to New York, who outshot Pittsburgh by a margin of 13 to 5.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

SECOND PERIOD: Just about a minute in, JT Miller lined up Ian Cole for a solid hit, setting the tone early on, followed up by a few more body checks. The Rangers were buzzing in the offensive zone, with scoring opportunities from Dan Boyle and McDonagh.

Blake Comeau (1) finished off a strong shift by banging home a juicy rebound at 6:15. The assists were credited to Ben Lovejoy (1) and Nick Spaling (1), Maxim Lapierre didn’t get one, but he provided a borderline illegal screen on Lundqvist to help cut the lead in half.

Rick Nash boarded Rob Scuderi at 13:04 but the always lethal power play of the Penguins was silenced, however, with only one shot on goal. After getting the first 5 shots, the Rangers found themselves on the defensive, getting outshot 9 to 3. The period was dominated by choppy play in both ends, with scoring opportunities few and far in-between. Matt Hunwick rung a shot off the post, possibly the Rangers best chance of the period. Shots at the end of the period were 14 to 11 in the Rangers’ favor.

THIRD PERIOD: Miller made a fantastic move to the net, but Scuderi made a even better play defensively to knife the puck away. Scuderi was then escorted to the locker room after getting cut up, another blow to the Penguins’ already depleted back end, however he returned. Fleury was continually tested in the early going, specifically from Carl Hagelin and McDonagh.

More from Rangers News

Steve Downie then took a rather unnecessary cross checking penalty on Zuccarello at 5:33, leaving the door open for the Rangers to capitalize. They were unable to do so however, giving the Penguins the momentum to an extent. After an egregious turnover by Kevin Hayes, Evgeni Malkin, Comeau, and Cole went to work in the offensive zone but Lundqvist stood tall.

Girardi was hit in the face as Chris Kunitz tried to dump the puck in, a scary moment for Rangers fans without question, and Girardi did not return.

Time and time again the Penguins generated chances after Ranger turnovers in their own zone. Nash stopped the onslaught by blocking Cole’s slap shot and racing down the ice for a chance of his own. Fleury was pulled with a minute and a few seconds left and the Rangers went to work in front of the King. They didn’t allow the Penguins to fire away on Lundqvist by dumping the puck in the offensive zone over and over. Shots in the period were 11-9 in the Rangers favor. Game 1 goes to New York!


1. Derick Brassard: G, 5 shots

2. Ryan McDonagh: G, 25:36 TOI

3. Marc-Andre Fleury: 38 SVs

Next: Rangers X Factors in the Playoffs

More from Blue Line Station