Am I the only one that is genuinely surprised that the Rangers are going into Game 2 with a 1-0 series lead? I'm sure that I am not. Tonight, back in Pittsburgh, the Rangers are looking to take a 2-0 series lead after winning their first second Game 1 of the 2014 NHL Playoffs on Friday night thanks to Derick Brassard's overtime winner. As much as there is to celebrate about Game 1's victory there is also a hell of a lot to improve on; namely the anemic power play.
I'm not sure what it is going to take but something has to change on the Rangers power play. It's time to experiment and get Richards either off the ice or, at the very least, off the point. The Ranger's lack of efficacy on the man advantage got Pittsburgh back into the game in Game 1 and the Rangers can ill-afford to let that happen again. I can't imagine that the Rangers coaching staff aren't hard at work trying to fix what is clearly the biggest issue with this team other than the absence of Chris Kreider.
The Rangers need a big game from their big players tonight and need to continue to limit the influence Crosby, Malkin, and Neal have on the game like they did in Game 2. Here's hoping that whatever we see tonight it turns out to be a winning recipe so the Rangers can head into New York with a 2-0 series lead.
Mike's Player to Watch: Mats Zuccarello
Zuke's linemates, Brassard and Pouliot, had stand-out games on Thursday but Zuke was hardly a non-factor. In Game 1 Zuke had a shot and two hits and was often on the ice when Sidney Crosby was. We all know how important Zuke was to the Rangers in their First Round victory over the Flyers and we're expecting more of the same from the diminutive forward tonight. Once again, I'll be looking to the Brassard line to set the tone and and put pressure on the Penguins in Game 2 just like they did in Game 1.
Enjoy Game Two. Let's go Rangers.