Returning to Madison Square Garden was not the homecoming that the Rangers and the Blueshirt Faithful were expecting. Although the Rangers dominated the game in shots on goal, they could not find a way to sneak a goal or two past Marc-Andre Fleury. While the Rangers as a team could not get one goal in the past two games, Sidney Crosby registered his first of the playoffs.
As we can see in this Fenwick chart, the Rangers did not let up on shots even though the Penguins scored twice. These shots need to start translating into goals or the long playoff run we were all hoping for, might fall short.
Finally, Alain Vigneault has made a comment in regards to this mixed up, “TV” schedule that they have to play this series:
“We were forced to play a stupid schedule, five games in seven nights, and I’m real proud of how our guys handled it,” head coach Alain Vigneault said after the game. “We put our best foot forward in each and every game…we played a real strong game (tonight).”
Vigneault realized that he may need to give the team some fresh legs for Game 3 and inserted Raphael Diaz, Jesper Fast, and J.T. Miller in relief for John Moore, Derek Dorsett and Daniel Carcillo, respectively. While the lineup changes brought more offensive pressure against Fluery, the Rangers power play has yet to improve. Again the Rangers were unable to capitalize on the power play, going 0-for-5. The Rangers are 0-for-13 with the man advantage in three games against the Penguins and have not scored in 34 straight chances. If the Rangers look to come back in this series, Alain Vigneault and his coaching staff need to figure out where the message is getting lost.
Still without a point in this series, Mats Zuccarello had this to offer on the Rangers play:
“It’s been a struggle for us, and that’s the game today, we don’t score and we gave them two goals,” offered Zuccarello. “It’s not good enough when we don’t score goals. If we let it go to our heads it’s not going to be any easier so we just have to keep shooting and hopefully we get a lucky bounce; but today we created a lot of chances to win this game, but you don’t win hockey games when you don’t score goals.”
The Rangers now take a long needed day-long break, to try and take Game 4 in New York. The Blueshirts need to win this game at MSG in order to take some momentum into Game 5, back in Pittsburgh.