The New York Rangers‘ power play had not scored a goal since early in Game 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers, going 0-for-36 during that stretch. With the Rangers facing elimination, they were desperate for something on the man-advantage unit. The power play finally came up with a big game, and the Rangers needed it more than ever.
Their power play was 2-for-3 with the Rangers facing elimination in Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Chris Kreider, who returned to the lineup in Game 4, got the Rangers’ first goal on the power play after Marc-Andre Fleury left a juicy rebound. Kreider was second on the team in power play goals during the regular season, and quite possibly scored the biggest goal of the Rangers’ season. Ryan McDonagh got the second power play goal, a shot from the point that fooled Fleury to the glove side.
One power play goal heading into a Game 6 back in New York would have been good, but the Rangers got two, which will do nothing but boost the confidence of the unit. They were moving the puck well, but more importantly, they were moving themselves. The Rangers have done a poor job of moving players on the power play, and that is the main reason it worked tonight.
New York needed its power play and it came through when it needed it the most. If the unit can continue to generate movement, it will get good opportunities. The power play finally proved to be a clutch unit, and they need it to carry over into Game 6.