May 7, 2014, 8:37 AM EDT
The New York Rangers are hoping a day off will do them a world of good.
After a run of playing five games in seven days and falling behind 2-1 in the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a simple day of rest might be the cure for what ails the Broadway Blueshirts.
The Pens are hoping that’s not quite the case as they’re looking to head back home for Game 5 with a 3-1 lead.
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Game 4: New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins [Pittsburgh leads series 2-1] (7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)
One thing the Rangers have to hope for heading into Game 4 is that Sidney Crosby getting the goal-scoring monkey off his back in Game 3 isn’t a sign that there’s more to come. Crosby has had an outstanding playoffs even without scoring, but now that he’s got one it could mean the dam is about to break open.
One change Pens coach Dan Bylsma made that’s benefited the team is having Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Chris Kunitz work together as a line to turn up the pressure on the Rangers defense. At times that line has been dominant for Pittsburgh, and guys like Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have had to spend a lot of energy to slow them down. That on top of playing a manic schedule has made life hard for New York, but they’ve got their own problems to figure out.
The Rangers power play has been a mess all playoffs long and it’s been costing them against the Penguins. The number of chances they’ve had with the man-advantage have been enough to turn the tide in the series, but instead it’s giving Pittsburgh the chance to seize the day.
If the Rangers are going to even this series up, they’re going to need points from Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. Those two are the biggest offensive threats they have but don’t have much to show for it this round. Nash in particular could use a goal as he’s yet to score one in these playoffs.
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