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Rangers take the Series with 2-1 Win over Penguins

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

The Rangers and the Penguins were off to OT once more, as three periods did not solve anything. One goal in the first for the Blueshirts and one goal in the second for Pittsburgh had the score tied 1-1 as the two teams entered the first Overtime period.

A first period Power Play goal by Derick Stepan gave the Rangers an early lead, but a Penguin goal off the shoulder or arm or glove of Nick Spaling tied the game in the second. I could not understand how the refs allowed this goal or for that matter, how the War Room in Toronto upheld this goal.

Well I do know why it was not overturned, it happened against the NY Rangers. The official word was that Spaling made contact with Henrik Lundquist after the puck crossed the goal line. I hate to disagree or argue with the officials, but there is now way on God’s green earth that contact occurred AFTER Spaling hit Henrik. Hank was “contacted” by Spaling before that puck crossed the goal line. That goal should not have occurred and I do not buy the explanation of the NHL.

Thus we went off to Overtime. There, the two goalies continued their display of excellence, as they did everything possible to keep the puck out of their net. The action was end to end and both the Blueshirts and the Penguins had plenty of chances to end the game.

Ryan McDonagh brought the puck into the Penguin end and Dominic Moore just would not quit, as he fought for control of the puck behind the Penguin net and then passed it out to Carl Hagelin. Hags then skated away from the Pittsburgh, turned and moved in a bit and let go with a beauty of a wrist shot. The puck was shot towards the short side and just beat Marc-Andre Fleury before the Penguin goalie could get back in position.

Bedlam took over MSG, as the sellout crowd saw the puck enter the net and exploded with joy. The Rangers were able to defeat the Penguins and end the series in five games, which will give the Blueshirts a few extra days of rest and recuperation.

It is amazing that I saw so many comments on social media and heard so many over the NHL Radio Network shows; that the Rangers were not playing that well because they were winning so many games by just one goal. I am sorry but I will never apologize for my team winning ugly. A win is a win is a win.

Fans of the Rangers and media members covering them should pay more attention to the fact that the Blueshirts are playing some kind of playoff hockey. In five games, they only gave up seven goals, which is just a tad over one goal a game and not worry about a lack of offense. The Rangers scored when they had too and played some of their best defense in the last three games of the playoffs.


NYR: Derek Stepan (PPG) (2), Assisted by Dan Boyle and Derek Brassard

PITT: Nick Spaling Assisted by Steve Downie & Sidney Crosby

OT NYR: Carl Hagelin (2) Dominic Moore and Ryan McDonagh

Team Stats                PITT                NY Rangers

Shots on Goal            38                36

Power Play                0/3                1/3

Hits                    28                36

Giveaways                10                19

Takeaways                4                13

Face Off Wins            36                32

Blocked Shots            13                19

Goalie Stats:  

Marc-Andre Fleury: 34 Saves on 36 Saves for a SV% of .974

Henrik Lundqvist: 37 Saves on 38 Shots for a SV% of .974

3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Marc-Andre Fleury: 34 Saves on 36 Shots for a SV% of .944

2nd Star: Henrik Lundqvist: 37 Saves on 38 Shots for a SV% of .974

Broadway Bits:

The NY Rangers are the only team in the NHL that has won at least one playoff round in the last four seasons. Since the NHL has gone to a four round playoff format in 1974-75., the Blueshirts have done this three separate times. The other two times were from 1979-1983 and 1994-97

The last time that the Rangers have won two consecutive playoff games in OT, dates back to 1970-71 season. The Rangers won in Game 6 of the Quarterfinals Toronto and then in Game 1 of the Semifinals against Chicago

It is also the first time since the 1950 Stanley Cup Finals that the Rangers have won two consecutive games in OT in the same playoff series

Ranger defensemen had two assists/points in Game 5 and 12 points (one goal and 11 assists in the five game series win

Carl Hagelin scored the game winning goal in OT to defeat the Penguins and had three shots on goal in 21:33 of ice time

Derek Stepan had a goal and three shots on goal in 20:18 of ice time

Dan Boyle had an assist and three shots on goal in 26:11 of ice time

Derick Brassard had an assist and three shots on goal in 20:20 of ice time

Dominic Moore had an assist on the Game winning goal, won nine of 10 faceoffs (90%), two blocks and posted a plus one rating in 15:15 of ice time

Ryan McDonagh had an assist on the game winning goal, two blocks and posted a plus one rating while skating in a team high 27:17 of ice time

Dan Girardi tied for the game-high and led the Rangers with three blocked shots and posted a plus one rating in 24:40 of ice time

Mats Zuccarello was forced to leave the game in the first period after being struck in the head with a slap shot off the stick of Ryan McDonagh. Zucc did not return to the game and at the time of the writing of this article, was still being evaluated by the NY Ranger medical staff.

The NY Rangers will await the winner of the Washington Capitol – NY Islanders series, in which a Game 7 will be played on Monday evening in Washington to determine who advances to the second round

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