By losing Game 4, the Montreal Canadiens’ ineffective power play became the story. Of course, the narrative could have been very different if the New York Rangers ended up losing in overtime, as they nearly shot themselves in the foot by taking eight penalties in that 3-2 overtime win.
The Rangers rightfully saluted their penalty kill unit (which scored a goal and allowed a goal on those eight chances), yet they also admitted that it’s not ideal to walk that tightrope, as NHL.com.com reports.
“We put ourselves behind the eight-ball a few times,” Alain Vigneault said. “But give credit to our killers and our goaltender. They did a real good job. The goal they had on the power play was deflected, but for the most part I thought we did a pretty good job killing those penalties. But we’re going to have to be better than that.”
Carl Hagelin scored shorthanded and created another chance or two on the PK, yet he put the situation simply enough.
“We have got to play smarter,” Hagelin said.
It’s easy to look at a 3-1 series lead as rosy and easier to ignore mistakes when you win, but the Rangers know all too well that a series can turn when one team faces the possibility of elimination. After all, these games have been close lately, with the last two contests requiring overtime.
If the Rangers want to wrap this series up, it’s likely that they’ll need to be much more disciplined … especially in front of a Montreal crowd that may or may not earn a few extra whistles for its team in a given game.