There was something different about this game between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game was physical and intense, two attributes the Rangers have not been showing as of late. The Rangers dug themselves another deep hole but fought valiantly to get one point out of this game. For the first time in a while Madison Square Garden was given a reason to be electric and live up to its name of the world’s most famous arena.
The Rangers found a way to fight back again. While I kept saying that they needed to get off to better starts, they are doing a great job of fighting back and getting the game to overtime and then eventually a shootout. The positives from this game has to be the Rangers’ push-back and resiliency. It is about time that the Rangers show some mental toughness after going down.
But the Rangers couldn’t get that much-needed second point. This has been one of the common themes for the Rangers this year. When the game goes into “winning time” the team seems to have trouble. We have seen them blow leads after two periods of play, something they haven’t done in over three years. Henrik Lundqvist got no help in the shootout, and the Rangers eventually fell 4-3. In the five rounds the Rangers failed to solve the shaky Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Lundqvist was stellar tonight and other players like Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan continued to play great in an intense game.
Even though it is a loss this game shows a lot of positives from this Rangers team. It shows how they are evolving to becoming a team that can come back from deficits. However, this game also showcased a lot of the negatives about the Rangers. For instance, Brian Boyle played under ten minutes and Arron Asham played under five. It is hard to win games when you have no depth at forward.
The Rangers need a win against the New York Islanders on Friday. Things have to start clicking, and they have to start clicking now.