Game Six Final:
NEW YORK RANGERS: Henrik Lundqvist Punches Blueshirts Ticket Back To Pittsburgh!
Rangers fans know better, but for the non-hockey members of the media (you know who you are) who insist Henrik Lundqvist needed to steal a game away from the Pens, well, there's your plunder. Henrik is now 9-2 in elimination games,and Tex's Rangers are headed back to Pittsburgh for a Game Seven.
The Rangers have outplayed the Penguins by a combined 8-2 score in the last two games to even the series, and will now attempt an improbable third straight victory.
Henrik faced 37 shots from Pittsburgh and effectively stopped them all. Most his saves were of the brilliant variety, with a few other incredible stops along the way. The only goal Henrik allowed came off his own team mate, Kevin Klein. Otherwise, Sidney Crosby, Ivgeni Malkin, Jussi Jokinen, Neal, and the rest of the Penguins were shut out.
We saw it in Game Five, and increasingly in Game Six. The Rangers are now in the Penguins' heads - Sidney Crosby in particular, who is resorting to cheap shots, and as always, has his mates fight his battles. It bears remembering how it was Pittsburgh who initiated the physicality of this series. But, by Sunday night, the tables had completely turned. The Rangers played as tough as perhaps I've seen them play all season.
Marion Gaborik who? With 4 goals, Derick Brassard now shares the Rangers lead along with Carl Hagelin. While the speed of Hagelin, and Chris Kreider, is also giving Pittsburgh problems. Hagelin gave the Rangers a back breaking 2-0 lead in the 1st period. Later, Kreider was flat out robbed by the refs.
If you believe the conspiracy theory, then, yes, it seemed as if the refs did everything they could to propel Sidney Crosby and the Penguins into the Eastern Conference finals.
In the 1st period, the ref got in Carl Hagelin's way along the boards and tripped him up. In the 2nd, Chris Krieder was pushed in the back, and into Marc Andre Fleury, but drew the penalty for (interference) crashing the goalie. Not that that wasn't a good thing, but, those are just two instances of many nonetheless.
On this night, King Henrik ruled, but the night still belonged perhaps, to Martin St. Louis, who's emotional 1st period ignited the Blueshirts in a fiery night at the Garden.
The Rangers will now attempt to defeat the Penguins in a playoff series for the first time ever, and by doing so, advance to the Eastern Conference finals against the winner of Boston vs. Montreal.
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The Rangers had 6 more power play opportunities, and failed to convert, which now makes them 5 for 56 (.08%) for the playoffs.