Evgeni Malkin looked dangerous at times during Game 2, but the New York Rangers’ scorers ended up being the lethal force.
From showing impressive burst to forcing mistakes, the Rangers accomplished a lot of the things that made the Penguins so dangerous during their stretch run. In the process, the Rangers tied their first-round series 1-1 thanks to a 4-2 decision.
Phil Kessel scored the first and last goal of the game, but the story revolved around the four unanswered goals New York scored in between.
Three of those tallies came during a second-period stretch that barely lasted more than four minutes. J.T. Miller grabbed three assists during that blistering span; Derick Brassard was right there with him production-wise with a goal and two assists.
(This post goes in-depth on that pivotal second period.)
J.T. Miller posted 3 assists in the 2nd to tie a @NYRangers playoff record for most in a period (Last: Jaromir Jagr, 04/17/07 vs ATL in 1st)
While offensive fireworks dominate the highlights, Henrik Lundqvist made a difference after shaking off that eye injury from Game 1. He made a number of high-difficulty saves (29 stops total) to make this an easier win for the Rangers.
Doorstep chances the entire final 30 second. Lundqvist save save save.
In case you’re wondering, it’s tough to pin any of the Rangers’ four goals on Jeff Zatkoff. The troubling thing for the Penguins is that few (if any) goalies would have bailed Pittsburgh out of the mistakes that led to those goals.
People seemed curiously eager to attach blame to individual players when things were getting messy for the Penguins. The truth is that there were enough sloppy moments to argue that this team, hot or not, has a lot of work to do as this series shifts to Madison Square Garden.
Rangers-Pens probably a case of both teams being happy with a split of first two games considering circumstances with injuries.
“He’ll go through warm-up, and he’ll declare himself,” Sutter said. “He’s been medically cleared, so it becomes a coach’s decision [and] a player’s declaration of whether he’s ready or not.”
The Kings might see some other lineup tweaks, as it sounds like Jamie McBain might be called upon to replace Alec Martinez (who didn’t skate this morning, according to Rosen.
Gaborik has been sidelined with a knee injury since Feb. 12. He clearly boosts the Kings’ skill level, but will the rust show in a challenging situation for Los Angeles? At 34, it’s reasonable to ask if Gaborik can jump right into the fire of postseason hockey.
Lightning lose J.T. Brown for the rest of the first round
The injury bug just keeps biting the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The latest loss comes in the form of an upper-body injury for hard-working forward J.T. Brown. The Bolts label Brown out indefinitely; the Tampa Bay Times puts it at least the remainder of their first-round series, if not longer.
Brown got hurt blocking a shot as the Lightning took a 2-0 series lead against the Detroit Red Wings.
“It’s our third playoffs together, and if you’re going to pull that unsung hero tag, he’s definitely at the top of the list,” Cooper said. “He won’t light the scoreboard up in points, but you’re not going to find too many more bigger gamers than J.T. Brown. That’s a tough loss for us. But in the mantra of the (Steven) Stamkos’ and (Anton) Stralman’s, let’s just keep this going and make sure that wasn’t J.T. Brown’s last game.”
Picture someone who doesn’t just do their job with skill, but also with maximum effort. Imagine a person who logged more time on the job than anyone else and even fought through pain, someone described as a “freak.”
Now admit that you probably pictured someone with a big, bushy beard, much like the one Keith sports.