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Rangers avoid elimination again, push Penguins to Game 7

May 11, 2014, 9:53 PM EDT

When the Pittsburgh Penguins put the New York Rangers down 3-1 the last time the two squads were at Madison Square Garden, fans were booing and the home team looked flat. The scene was flipped on Game 6 as fans applauded a bitter, impressive Rangers win that forced this series to a full seven games.

The Rangers beat the Penguins 3-1 to win Game 6 on Sunday in a game that was wild and quite violent.

As it turns out, Derek Stepan‘s odd hiccup with an official in the contest’s first shift seemed to be harbinger of weird things to come:

Martin St. Louis opened the scoring by scoring a 1-0 goal on Mother’s Day just days after his mother France St. Louis passed away:

There were plenty of near-calls and thrilling moments as the Rangers clearly went all-out to send this game back to Pittsburgh for a must-win game for each team. This sequence of events for Marcel Goc and Chris Kreider probably captures that spirit the best:

Sidney Crosby‘s bitterness carried over from Game 5 and it’s clear that both teams are losing their cool at times:

It’s difficult to deny that the testy stuff might be playing into the Rangers’ hands a bit. They gained a power play on that exchange and saw some lapses in judgment from both sides, yet it was telling that James Neal was the player who was tossed from the game in the late going.

Marc-Andre Fleury had some moments he might like to forget, especially with this game-winning goal from Carl Hagelin (pictured):

Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist remains absolutely brilliant in elimination games, especially at Madison Square Garden. He’s now won seven of those must-win contests at MSG, as he turned aside 36 out of the 37 shots he faced. (In fact, the goal that beat him actually came off of Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein.)

Many counted the Rangers out when they were down 3-1 in this series, yet now a ticket to the Eastern Conference finals is up for grabs. As bad as things look for the Penguins, they’ve never lost a series against the Rangers in their franchise playoff history.

Plenty will be on the line in Game 7 on Tuesday. Will the Rangers ride this momentum or will the Penguins dig deep and make another trip to the conference finals?

  1. sabatimus - May 11, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Choke here we come.

    • Tyler - May 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      I’m a die hard Penguins fan and I’m putting my money on the Rangers in game 7. The Penguins are just not built for playoff hockey. It’s frustrating to watch a team play well (Games 2-4) only to play truly awful in two consecutive elimination opportunities. Credit to the Rangers for wanting it more.

      • chanceoffleury - May 11, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        You can’t be a “diehard” and vote against your team in game 7. Sorry, thems the rules. Its in an imaginary book somewhere about being a truly loyal fan or something. No true diehard votes against their team in a game 7, no matter the circumstances. Especially when it’s a home game and the opponent has never won a playoff series against your team. I’m not saying you have to blindly defend that your team will be the ones to win game 7, but you can just ambiguously suggest your team needs to make changes if they’re going to win but still maintain never saying the rival is going to win.

      • the8man - May 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

        Eh, it’s the Cup, dude. Every team left in this tournament earned their way here. They play a best of 7 for a reason. At this point, there really aren’t any upsets. The Rangers are a solid hockey team with a world class goalie. It’s a tough out.

        And when the eventual winner hoists that Cup, it matters not if all the series they won went 7 or if they only outscored the opposition by a single goal in each series. It’s survival. It’s grit. And momentum is shift-to-shift.

      • hockey412 - May 12, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        The Pens didn’t play great…but that’s a ridiculous comment. First, look at the boxscore from last night’s game. Pretend you don’t know the outcome. You’d swear the Pens HAD to have won. Badly outshot the Rangers and the Rangers blocked another 20-some shots…story sounds like the Pens always had the puck.

        Hank has been a stone wall. If he continues to be, the Pens are in trouble. If he isn’t, the Rangers are in trouble.

        If they win, this will be their second straight ECF. I guess too bad they aren’t ‘built for playoff hockey’ hahaha.

      • justinpecora50 - May 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Game 3 the score was deceiving. Rangers out shot them 35-15, hit about 4 posts and the PENS score on 2 breakaways. It happens.

      • fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Well, Tyler, I’m rooting for the Rangers, but I wouldn’t put the dealership on them winning this game. This has been a tricky series. Pittsburgh played extremely well for three consecutive games, layed the proverbial egg in game 5, but didn’t play that badly yesterday. Home ice is a big advantage in game 7’s. If the crowd is pumped up and loud, the home-town players will respond. As you implied, it’s about who wants it more. I think this is too close to call.

  2. canucks30 - May 11, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    It’s so easy to get Crosby off his game.

    He’s more interested in spearing guys in the nuts and engaging in scrums than scoring goals.

    • stakex - May 11, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      And whining to the refs…. can’t forget that.

      • President Charles Logan - May 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        stakex notice how you start posting again when your team has won 2 straight? .. less then a week ago you counted your boys out for dead… clown

  3. drewsylvania - May 11, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    What an enjoyable fail.

  4. canucks30 - May 11, 2014 at 9:55 PM

  5. steelcity333 - May 11, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Well Crosby, you’re the best player in the game but if you don’t step up your game in Game 7 the choke word is going to start going around. 1 goal in the last 16 playoff games.

    • mangoman1966 - May 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      I think his status of being the best in the game is dwindling. He had a great regular season but had never proved himself in the playoffs. Im a pens fan and it kills me to say this. I’ve seen this go on for the last 3 years. I think most pens fans expect this in the playoffs. They didn’t play bad tonight. Difference was the goaltending. Very frustrating.

      • drewzducks - May 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        As a B’s fan it’s good to hear this from a Pens fan. Trust me, my teams has it’s own shortcomings but the Pens 2-4 dominance was mostly the ridiculous talents on full display of Mr. Geno. He was nearly a one man gang… In alot of ways like P.K. Has been vs. the B’s. Maybe that’s why the 2nd most important trophy in the sport rightfully went to Malkin wnen they won their Cup during their most recent run.

    • fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      I don’t think Sidney Crosby is 100%….not an excuse for his poor playoff performance, but come on! This guy, not very long ago, was considered by some to be the best player in the world. There may be stuff we don’t know going on with him, perhaps with concussion effects?

  6. canucks30 - May 11, 2014 at 9:57 PM

  7. drewsylvania - May 11, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Crosby: all talent, no heart. It’s always been this way with him. Incessant whining (and cheap stickwork) when he can’t get his way. Pouty little child.

  8. bsfan77 - May 11, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    I called it earlier. Rangers are surging and Pens are on their heals. Henry is playing out of his mind. I am sure Cindy’s spear to the balls will be overlooked because he doesn’t play for Boston. And of course as the game ends, Cindy is skating off the ice crying to the refs.

    • koontang11 - May 12, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      What could you have possiby “called”? the rangers were unbelievably massively outplayed and dead in the water the previous games before this weekend so what was that prediction based off of? Also you have zero room to talk when it comes to spearing someone in the groin there buddy

      • fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        No one called anything. This series has been so unpredictable thus far, much like the Kings vs. Ducks out West. Teams appear to be dead, but then resurrect themselves. That’s the NHL in 2014.

  9. imgoingtowichita - May 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    As a betting man, go with the goalie over home ice.
    Pssss(coaching matters)

  10. penguins87and71 - May 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Do you hear that? It’s the Pens chocking. Can we just fire Dan Byslma!

    • bsfan77 - May 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      There you go again! You were saying last week that the Pens were the team to beat and no one would stop them. Now you are calling for the coach to be fired. At least Boston fans stand behind there team. You wear a bedazzled Pens hat or is it pink?

      • bsfan77 - May 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        Their*

    • fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:31 PM

      Don’t tell me Dan Bylsma can’t coach. He has a Stanley Cup under his belt with this team. The difference between now and 2009? Marc Andre Fleury isn’t the game-saving, game-changing goaltender that he was that spring, and Sidney Crosby has obviously slipped. You take away the two best players on any team, with apologies to Malkin, and you probably don’t get the post-season results that you once did. I think the Penguins’ system has been proven to work, and aside from the disastrous 2012 post-season when the Flyers beat the living daylights out of them, the Penguins have made it to the final four on several occasions….not that bad. I’m not sure any other coach could have done better.

  11. domdogsbk85 - May 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    ALL that needs to be said. Lundqvist or Fleury in a game 7??? Lets go Rangers

    • davidmessina63 - May 12, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Fleury lacks the confidence. Lundquist and the Rangers upped their confidence level. Should be a close game but I give the edge to Lundquist. Hopefully a Boston NY ECF. That would be a fun one.

      • fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        Yes….Rangers vs. Bruins. Bruins in 7. Bobby Orr assists on Phil Esposito’s tip-in by Eddie Giacomin in the deciding game………..ooops.

  12. bsfan77 - May 11, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Best part is Henry skating by Cindy while he is on the ice squirting water at him! Go Rangers!

  13. mrd5c - May 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Any chance either Neal or Crosby faces discipline for this game?

    • 7mantel - May 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      Not while their wearing those colors,Bettman won’t allow it .

      • broadstreetbeatdown - May 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        C’mon dude its the Pens in the playoffs. Not a chance. Neal has to decapitate someone and Crosby has to castrate somebody (he came close) for amy supplemental discipline.

      • 7mantel - May 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Isn’t that what i’m saying ?

    • kastout11 - May 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      A Penguin get disciplined for a game 7 against the Rangers. NBCSN will go crazy if Crosby is suspended for game 7.

  14. broadstreetbeatdown - May 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Whats up with all the nut shots lately? First Lucic and now Crosby.

    • einjzmolf - May 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      Corey Perry would like a word with you, he’s absolutely begging for attention, give it to him!

  15. muckleflugga - May 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    hand imgoingtowichita a cigar, or better still, a blunt … you nailed it bud

    give me a hot goalie and great coaching and i’d take a game seven on the road every time … there’s always less pressure on the road, and less distraction

    no need to do anything more than score first, then bore the home team and fans into submission with relentless skating and checking

    whistles tend to get put away once every team has maximized gate in any given round, so game sevens tend to be free for alls, short of taking anyone’s head off

    bylsma better get penguins’ heads straight or they’re gone

    • bsfan77 - May 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      Great comment! That is the easiest read you have posted. Again, great comment!👍👏

    • canucks30 - May 11, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      No one reads any of the incoherent rambling you post on here.

      • bsfan77 - May 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

        What are you talking about. That is the best Muckle has ever posted!

  16. jacques05 - May 11, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Didn’t see this playing out, Good for hockey and good for the fan base! Because we all know what game 7 feels like!

  17. muckleflugga - May 11, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    canucks30

    oh … okay, i resign … the board is yours

  18. govtminion - May 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Definitely a bad performance by the Pens all around… they’d better make some serious adjustments FAST, or this is over- and if you’d told me a week ago that the Penguins would be on the verge of losing the series to the Rangers, I’d have laughed myself into a heart attack. Here we are- even with Nash being awful and getting shut out twice in a row, the Rangers are rolling… I can’t think of a reason to bet against Lundqvist in Game 7.

  19. ironmd778 - May 11, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Finally an entertaining game between these teams. only took 6 games.

  20. 7mantel - May 12, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Every game I look for Nash to break out ,game 7 would be a great time for him to get his scoring touch back .

  21. jkay1818 - May 12, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    How come there has not been any mention of the atrocious officiating in the game yesterday as well. From the opening shift the entire tone was set when the ref wiped out a golden opportunity for Stepan. From that point on, it snowballed.
    Not only should that have been a good goal by Kreider, he was called for a penalty adding insult to injury. He was clearly pushed from behind by Letang. Absolutely atrocious. The call on zuccarello for that trip in the pens zone was bad, then Crosby wipes out Girardi’s feet and no arm was raised. I can go on for a while about this, but, if that carries over into game 7, it can prove costly.
    I noticed quite a few pens fans ( don’t remember their names) have gone silent. After they won game 2 or 3, how this is the same pens team who reeled off 15 in a row, who Boston won’t be able to handle them. Anything can happen in game 7 and Pitt can very well win by 5 goals, but, a little absurd with all that talk. You were beating a team playing 7 games in 9 days.

  22. kastout11 - May 12, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    The Pens taken out of their game. Where have we seen this before? Crosby really lost it last night. They need this guy right for game 7 or they have no shot. As a Flyers fan, I really want to hate Crosby, but first of all, the guy is the best player in the world, then you see him do things like asking Toews if he was OK with hm being named the Captain of Team Canada, then finding St. Louis before the game to offer his condolences. He did not have to ask Toews or find St. Louis, yet he did. Classy moves even though my allegiance to the Flyers prohibits me from cheering for him or any Penguin.

  23. Meta - May 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    I love this. The seed of doubt was planted in game 5 and now it’s growing into a beautiful tree of fear. Finish this Rangers.

    • fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      That’s really a lovely sentence. Thank you.

  24. justinpecora50 - May 12, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    This is a game I’m sure the Penguins didn’t want to play. Now it’s THEIR turn to handle all the pressure.It may come down to the goalies.Hank is 9-2 , 1.35 GAA and a .967 save pct with 2 SO in elimination games. Should be fun.

  25. nyeagles10 - May 12, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Man as a rangers fan, I was giving the pens props for playing like professionals. But after last night with that dirty hit on Moore, the pens are the biggest crybabies in the league. Practice what you preach.

  26. fpstratton - May 12, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Go Rangers, of course, but the Penguins shouldn’t be counted out…..again, this series has been undecipherable so far…don’t bet on it, just enjoy it!

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