You won’t find many/any irrelevant Game 7’s in high-level sports, but this is a huge one. Especially for a second-round series … and especially for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
They’ve disappointed in recent postseason runs, even if they made the Eastern Conference finals last season. Giving up a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers would be a different kind of sensation, one some believe would spell the end of Dan Bylsma’s reign as head coach.
The stakes seem higher for the Penguins on Tuesday, yet the Rangers also eye the end of their season for the fourth time in this postseason (once against Philly and for a third time against Pittsburgh). As much as their image might be improved by putting up a fight, management made some big moves from re-signing Henrik Lundqvist and dealing their former captain and futures for Martin St. Louis. So losing this one will hurt both sides, possibly more than your standard “soul-searching in the summer” fare.
It all shapes up to what could be a fascinating Game 7 even by Game 7 standards, so you can tune in on NBCSN or stream the action via the link below.