NHL: Rangers Fight Elimination, Bring End To Slump
An 0-for-36 power-play slump.
That’s what the Rangers were facing while going into Friday’s game. The Penguins led the series with three wins and one loss, hoping to walk away from the night with a series victory. Luckily for New York, they would end the power-play slump and prevent elimination.
In this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs we’ve seen the team that scores first go on to win the game, and the Rangers continued that reality with a 5-1 victory.
Chris Kreider was the first Ranger with a power-play goal, which was the first the team had seen in ten games. The goal was made by sinking the puck off of a rebound from Ryan McDonagh, resulting in the first goal of the game. The second power-play goal came from McDonagh in the second period.
Martin St. Louis brought a lot of emotion to the game. He had recently experienced the death of his mother, and returned from Montreal shortly before faceoff because he believed his mother would want him to be at the game. St. Louis saw sixteen minutes of playing time.
The Rangers improved on the sloppy play that it’s been showing in past games. In game four of the series, New York only accumulated fifteen shots by the end of the game. The Rangers saw immense improvement in game five with a total of seventeen shots at the end of the first period alone. Pittsburgh had less with only nine shots.
Derick Brassard scored the second goal of the game by driving home Mats Zuccarello’s rebound. By the first intermission New York led the Penguins 2-0.
Pittsburgh built up momentum in the second to tighten the score to a one-goal difference. Evgeni Malkin took advantage of his own rebound to give the Penguins its first and final goal of the game. Henrik Lundqvist made fourteen saves in the second to ensure Pittsburgh’s momentum was limited.
Brassard earned his second goal of the night to make the score 3-1 in the second period. Later, the Penguins would have too many men on the ice, resulting in a penalty that led to the Rangers fourth goal.
The final goal of the night would be had by defenseman Kevin Klein, who took advantage of an open net to give the Rangers a 5-1 lead.
The Rangers return to Madison Square Garden on Sunday to face the Penguins in game six of the series.