Home Ice Advantage Melts Away After Game Three Loss
Penguins lead series 2-1
I - PITT 5; NYR 2
II - NYR 4; PITT 2
III - PITT 3; NYR 1
NEW YORK RANGERS: Blueshirt fans have little respect for Marc Andre-Fleury to begin with ... but this inability to put shots on net against second and third string goalies is ponderous!
After going with third string goalie Jeff Zatkoff in games One and Two, the Penguins turned back to second stringer Matt Murray for Game Three at the Garden.
The Penguins and Rangers have now utilized two goalies each.
- PITT has thus far faced 82 shots on goal, made 75 saves, with 7 goals allowed.
- NYR have thus far faced 91 shots on goal, made 83 saves, with 8 goals allowed.
After a scoreless opening period (video review negated a Chris Kreider goal), the 2nd session started out promisingly for the Rangers when the ghost Rick Nash scored a rare playoff goal in the opening minute.
In truth, however, the Pens could have started a circus bear in net, and it would not have mattered. The Rangers mustered little to nothing in the way of offensive threats, registering just 17 shots on goal all game, and just four in the final period.
They should have spent all of Wednesday feeling embarrassed about themselves.
After Game Three, Derek Stepan blamed (his word) stubbornness for their offensive malaise, which is a word I've been using to characterize Alain Vigneault for three seasons now. But where my usage stems from Coach's reluctance to play Dylan McIlrath (whom was a healthy scratch.. again), and his "turn the other cheek" mentality, Stepan was referring to their failure in changing strategy against Pittsburgh's neutral zone play.
Continual stick handling into a brick wall was indeed stubborn of them - but, pretty is as pretty does. Unfortunately, dump and chase hockey remained a foreign concept.
Moving on, penalties have been a decisive factor. The Rangers are a mere 1 for 12 on the man advantage, meanwhile, have allowed Pittsburgh 4 goals in 13 opportunities - one in each game played and a pair in Game Three.