Rangers Score Twice In Overtime To Win Game 1
Pouliot to Brassard – GOAL! No, the ref waves it off. Brassard to Pouliot – GOAL! Either way you slice it, RANGERS WIN! In what was a must win game one for New York, the line of Brassard, Pouliot and Zuccarello found another gear and won it.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 3, 2014
The NHL somehow saw it fit to pile on the games for the Rangers in the first two rounds with the schedule. Of course, had the Blueshirts any semblance of a killer instinct, they may have knocked the Flyers off sooner. Now, they are faced with having played back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday in round one, to consecutive games Sunday and Monday in round two.
New York’s alleged energy depleted team was supposed to be outworked by Pittsburgh’s rested club. Instead, it was the Rangers doing all the hitting and high flying. The player of the game Benoit Pouliot, opened the scoring with a strong inside move on a rush, whipping one past Marc Andre Fleury. It was one of those whiffs the Penguins goalie would like to have back. The Rangers would close out the first period scoring when Brad Richards, on his birthday, was left all alone in front. The goal was caused by Carl Hagelin out hustling the Pens defense to find Richards with time and space to beat Fleury.
It was role reversal time in the second period, as the Rangers had a hard time picking up the Pens’ players trailing the play. Goals by Lee Stempniak and James Neal evened the score. Neal’s goal shouldn’t have counted according to Keith Jones of NBC. Although, the play went to review, it could only be looked at to see if the puck was hit with a high stick. Malkin’s interference with his stick on Lundqvist’s glove went uncalled and the goal stood.
The third period is where everyone expected the Rangers to be too exhausted and fold. Quite the contrary, they went toe-to-toe with the Penguins and actually out chanced them. NY survived a late scare with just seconds left, as Lee Stempniak game in all alone. Dan Girardi, inexplicably dove at the puck and took himself out of the play. Stempniak’s shot hit Lundqvist and slid wide. Henrik actually thought he was beat on the play and admitted so after the game. He recalled being “relieved” when he saw the puck hit the boards.
Overtime began and the Penguins forgot to start it. The Rangers buzzed all over Pittsburgh and ended the game 3:06 in. The actual game winner coming from Derick Brassard. After the game Alain Vigneault joked about the line and overtime, “Since Christmas they’ve probably been our most consistent line. They’ve got real good chemistry. They read off one another and support one another well and … they scored two in overtime.”
The fun continues in Pittsburgh for Game 2 this Sunday at 7:30 ET.