In a game they needed to have, the Rangers reversed their fortunes and sent things back to Pittsburgh evened up at one. It wasn’t always pretty but the Rangers played a solid game and found a way to get their offensive mojo going. Here’s some positives and negatives from a huge game two win.
Positives: The Rangers were able to again play another strong first period for the most part outside of a bit of a five minute lull. One of the more refreshing things about this team especially post deadline has been their ability to start fast. One of the biggest complaints we had about the previous regime was the club’s inability to come out of the blocks quickly and that hasn’t been an issue under Gallant.
The Rangers again showed their resiliency, not only to their game one loss but also giving back the lead after quick striking on Louis Domingue. Resiliency and mental toughness has become a hallmark of this Rangers group which is yet something else we never saw under the previous regime. In prior years had the Rangers given up the equalizer early like they did last night they would’ve had a tough time battling back.
K’Andre Miller is becoming an absolute monster and the league is being put on notice. Miller has all the tools to be a superstar in this league, and granted it’s a small sample size, he looks as though he’s beginning to figure it all out. Early in game two he was easily the Rangers best player making both offensive and defensive plays.
Artemi Panarin’s playmaking is alive and well. After a rough game one for the breadman, he returned with a vengeance in game two registering 3 points on five Rangers goals.
Ryan Strome finally hit the net!
Andrew Copp is showing just how useful and much needed he’s going to be to this club and how the Rangers MUST re-sign him.
The powerplay is alive and well and it got chances to show how lethal it can be. Thanks for calling the game both ways last night, NHL!
Igor Shesterkin is the best goalie on the planet and nothing else needs to be said.
Negatives: The Rangers still can’t seem to find Guentzel in transition and that’s a problem. Crosby and Guentzel have been the only two Penguins who have been able to hurt the Rangers through two games. Key on them and limit their chances or it’ll begin to bite you in the rear.
Patrik Nemeth quite literally stinks on ice. After another good team start Nemeth took another moronic, albeit, soft offensive zone penalty to slow momentum. Bad news for Nemeth, Justin Braun played extremely well in the absence of Ryan Lindgren and if Lindgren comes back this series then Nemeth should find himself in the pressbox.
The Rangers puck management still leaves something to be desired. They still at points get a bit too careless with puck and winning playoff games most of the time comes down to who’s better at managing the game. Pittsburgh is still very skilled and they’re going to make you pay for mistakes you make.
Overall: NYR fans need to be thrilled with the clubs ability to bounce back and win a must win playoff game. This young core got on the job training in playoff experience in game one and put it to good use in game two. Rangers have got to keep the good vibes going into game three in Pittsburgh and come back to New York up 3-1.