Rangers Hold On; Grab Control of the Series

The Rangers defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 in Game 3 to take a matching 2-1 series lead. Goals from Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider staked the Rangers to a two-goal lead heading into the third period, which turned out to be enough of a cushion to withstand Pittsburgh’s onslaught in the final 12 or so minutes.

The first period was a low event affair, especially so for Pittsburgh, who did not register their first shot on goal until over 15 minutes had passed (and even that first shot came from center ice). The Rangers didn’t generate a ton offensively, either, but they grabbed an early lead 8:43 in when Keith Yandle threaded a beautiful pass to a streaking Carl Hagelin, who broke in and wound up for a slap shot that beat Marc-Andre Fleury’s five-hole. If you missed Yandle’s pass, check it out; it was quite lovely:

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Power Play Struggles Sink Rangers in Game 2 Loss

Despite seven power play opportunities, the Rangers only scored one goal with the man advantage, while the Penguins capitalized on their first two power play chances en route to a 4-3 win in Game 2, tying the series at one.

Game Recap:

Derek Stepan opened the scoring with 2:55 left in the first period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. While some Penguins went for a line change following a long sequence of pressure by the Rangers, Ryan McDonagh carried the puck through the neutral zone before laying a pass off to J.T. Miller at the blue line. Miller then fired a beautiful cross-ice pass to a streaking Stepan, who ripped a wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury’s blocker. Read more

Preview: Rangers Look to Take Commanding Lead Over Penguins

48 hours after winning Game 1, the Rangers will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Metropolitan Division Semi-Finals on Saturday night.

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Rangers Take 1-0 Series Lead Over Penguins

The Rangers beat the Penguins 2-1 to take Game 1 of their best-of-seven series. The Rangers had 38 shots on goal to the Penguins’ 25, and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves in the victory.

It was a quick start for the Rangers, as Derick Brassard scored just 28 seconds into the game — just one second away from the quickest goal to start a playoff game.

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Better Know a Penguin: Daniel Winnik

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Yesterday Alex took a look at Blake Comeau, who, for less than half the price of one Tanner Glass, provides Pittsburgh with a formidable secondary scoring option. Now we’ll turn to another bargain bin signing in Daniel Winnik, who came to Pittsburgh prior to the trade deadline via the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Signed to a one-year, $1.3 million dollar deal late in the summer, Winnik turned out to be one of a select few Maple Leafs to meet or exceed expectations this season. Winnik, who is not known for his offensive abilities (as evidenced by his career 6.2 shooting percentage), was tied for the third-most 5v5 points on Toronto at the time of the trade, with 22. With Toronto limping to the finish line, Winnik’s finished first among all Maple Leafs with 1.76 Points/60. For reference, that’s an almost identical scoring rate to what Benoit Pouliot gave the Rangers a season ago.

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Series Preview: Rangers Face Penguins in Opening Round

It’s been just over 11 months since the Rangers and Penguins last faced off in a playoff series. Tomorrow night, the two teams open up another series, this time in the first round.

Last spring, the Rangers won Games 5 through 7 to erase Pittsburgh’s 3-1 series lead and advance to the Conference Finals. Derick Brassard lead the Rangers with 5 points (4 goals and 1 assist) in the series, and linemates Benoit Pouliot each had a goal and 3 assists. For the Penguins, Evgeni Malkin had 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points. Kris Letang (1 goal and 4 assists) and Jussi Jokinen (4 goals and 1 assist) were tied for 2nd with 5 points (more series stats).

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