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.)
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.
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.
Really, it’s only predictable that these two teams are going to struggle back-and-forth. If the first two games are any indication, it should be a treat to watch.
As far as bumps and bruises go, it sounds like Derek Stepan may have avoided injury in Game 2: