Coming off a phenomenal two games against the Devils, the Rangers went to Pittsburgh to take on a team they are chasing in the Penguins. They came in with a boost, as Jacob Trouba returned to the lineup after missing 3 weeks. David Quinn rolled Alexandar Georgiev again, but things did not go well for him. He surrendered 3 goals on 6 shots and was eventually pulled. Those 3 Penguins goals came in 61 seconds. The Rangers could not get their stride going offensively for most of the game. They ended up dropping this one 5-1, ending their 3 game win streak.
Rangers Get Going Early
After a fast start by the Rangers on Saturday, they again didn’t waste any time. The Rangers got an early 2 on 1, and they converted. It was Mika Zibanejad getting just his 3rd of the season, assisted by Pavel Buchnevich and Jacob Trouba. It was a big goal for Zibanejad as he hopes to get out of his slump. The Rangers controlled the first 5 minutes as they were ahead in shots, 6-1.
Ryan Lindgren took a penalty that was killed off, but 2 seconds after it ended it was John Marino getting the goal for the Penguins. The 39 seconds later, it was Kasperi Kapanen. Then wouldn’t you know, 29 seconds later it was Sidney Crosby. This prompted Georgiev to get pulled for Kieth Kinkaid.
The Rangers played good for 16 minutes, then dug themselves a hole.
Slow Second Period
The Rangers needed to play much better in the second. This one could’ve been 4-1 early on, but Kinkaid stopped a breakaway which was huge. The Rangers’ offense disappeared for most of the period. Kinkaid was crucial in helping the Rangers stay in this one. The Rangers killed off two penalties, which included a brief 5 on 3, to continue their good penalty killing over these last 15 games.
After the penalties, New York had some time in the Penguins zone. A 2 on 1 developed shortly after, but Zibanejad hit the post off a good pass from Buchnevich. If the Rangers wanted any chance of coming back, they needed to keep the momentum they had the last 5 minutes of the period.
All Penguins in The Third
Rangers needed a spark but just couldn’t get one. They had a chance early on but Kappo Kakko missed wide. Buchnevich missed on a good chance later on, and that was about all offensively.
The forecheck had to be up to the max if they wanted any chance. When doing that you give your opponent a high chance of odd-man rushes. Pittsburgh got those. A 3 on 1 was buried by Evgeni Malkin, which Kinkaid has no chance of stopping. Soon after, another odd-man rush led to Zach Aston-Reese putting one home. Penguins locked up the Rangers from there, and that was that.
The Rangers have been on a good run, so it is eventually going to end. After the Zibanejad goal early on and the first 16 minutes of the first, it was looking promising, but they eventually shut themselves down. As for the goaltending, this stuff will happen. Georgiev isn’t a star goalie, he’s going to have rough nights. And for Kinkaid, I think he played really well. Maybe the second goal he allowed could’ve been stopped, but what else do you want him to do. The Rangers’ next game is Tuesday back in Pittsburgh.