May 5, 2014, 10:16 PM EST
Heading into Game 3, the big question was if a lack of rest would doom the New York Rangers. Instead, it came down to their inability to beat Marc-Andre Fleury — the Pittsburgh netminder posted a second consecutive shutout for a 2-0 Penguins win, and 2-1 series lead.
“Score effects” might account for some of the story (at least in the third period), but the shot totals would almost argue that the Rangers were the team with more lift in their legs. They carried a 35-15 shot advantage, yet they simply couldn’t solve “The Flower” tonight.
OK, the 29-year-old goalie got a little lucky at times, but there’s no denying his brilliance in Game 3:
In the process, Fleury pulled off a rare feat:
While the unit created plenty of opportunities, the Rangers’ power play still remains a conundrum. They’ve now gone eight straight playoff games without a goal and find themselves mired in an 0-for-34 slump.
The Rangers have to feel a little bit of grief in losing despite an impressive team performance in Game 3 and great work from Henrik Lundqvist in Game 2. (It’s difficult to beat up Lundqvist too much for allowing two breakaway goals tonight, either.)
Despite seeing a 1-0 series lead switch to a 2-1 deficit in two nights, the Rangers can at least hang their hats on a nice performance and will get the usual amount of rest with Game 4 on Wednesday.
That optimism will dim considerably if they can’t tie the series then, though.
- Lou Lamoriello unveils highly unorthodox coaching plan 8
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks, Kings renew hostilities 1
- NHL on NBCSN: Can Capitals take advantage of depleted Penguins? 1
- Team Canada crushes Slovakia 14
- Criticism spreads to GM Lou Lamoriello after Devils fire DeBoer 9
- Eichel earns assist and scores in shootout as U.S. squeaks by Finland 2
- Canada enters World Juniors as 11/10 favorite; USA next at 9/4 5
- Devils fire DeBoer 21
- More mumps: Downie and Greiss test positive 7
- Orpik reflects on ‘outside pressure’ in Pittsburgh 21
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)