There will be a Game 6 in New York.
Dominating an un-urgent Pittsburgh Penguins’ team, the New York Rangers’ captured Game 5 with a 4-1 victory, setting up a Game 6 at Madison Square Garden Sunday.
And Pittsburgh was off right from the get-go because their first period was anything but effective.
Following a terrible delay of game penalty taken by Robert Bortuzzo, the New York Rangers would open the scoring. Fighting for every inch, recently returned forward Chris Kreider potted a snap-shot by Marc-Andre Fleury near the halfway mark of the first.
New York wasn’t done.
Playing as desperate as ever, New York would go up 2-0, courtesy of a Derick Brassard goal. Winning the offensive zone face-off, Brassard shot, collected a rebound opportunity, and put it past Fleury. All of this was due to a bad icing foul by one Kris Letang. The score would remain 2-0 heading into the second.
This stanza was where Pittsburgh would show life.
Coming out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, the Pens would get a much needed goal from one-half of their two-headed monster. Splitting the defense, Evgeni Malkin slung a shot on Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist, gathered his own rebound, and brought the game to a one-goal game. Which really wouldn’t last long.
Seemingly gaining some momentum off of Malkin’s tally, Brassard made sure to quiet the storm.
Entering the Pens’ zone, New York fired a shot on Fleury – to which he saved – but Brassard was right there to bury it top shelf, and give New York a two-goal advantage once again. New York’s persistence would pay off thereafter as well.
Garnering a power-play off a too many men penalty on Pittsburgh, Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh would finally see twine. Receiving a feed from forward Mats Zuccarello, McDonagh, near the blue-line, rocketed a slap-shot that beat Fleury top shelf, giving New York a 4-1 lead.
A lead they wouldn’t surrender. And Rangers’ forward Kevin Klein would pour in an empty-netter – adding insult to injury – to make the final score 5-1.
Fleury made 30-of-34 saves, but he really didn’t perform well. Flopping all over the place, Fleury just couldn’t find, or stop the puck. If Pittsburgh is going to move forward in these playoffs, they’ll need Fleury to bring it in their next game.
Pittsburgh played sloppy defensively. Unable to pick up their assignments, and turning the puck over on some lazy cross-ice passes, the Pens’ unforced errors and mental lapses certainly played a huge role in their Game 5 loss. And unfortunately for Pittsburgh, they also let frustration creep in.
Getting awfully chippy towards the tail-end of the contest, Pittsburgh was visibly unsettled. Obliging instigation and pestering the opposition, Pittsburgh let the tilt get away from them – specifically in the third – due to emotional gaffes.
They must not let this loss carry over into Game 6. The one thing Pittsburgh has trouble with is controlling rash feelings. Its been evident in past postseason attempts.
Game 6 will be Sunday at 7 p.m., and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins