There could have been plenty of excuses had the Rangers relinquished a 2-0 Game 1 lead en route to a loss: short rest, fatigue, and an offensively capable opponent in the Penguins. But after seeing their two goal lead evaporate on Friday (note: two goal leads are not safe!), the Rangers managed to regain their composure and take Game 1 in overtime 3-2.
But that was then, and this is now. There's no day-to-day momentum in the playoffs, and the Rangers will need another big effort Sunday if they have any chance at returning to New York with a 2-0 series lead. The importance of that of course cannot be understated, especially with the quick turnaround between Game's 2 and 3.
Everything looks status quo for the Rangers as far as the lineup is concerned, while Alain Vigneault may tweak the power play to try to get something jumpstarted. At morning skate, Anton Stralman was getting some point looks instead of John Moore, as the Rangers try to bust out of a slump that's run up to an 0-25 drought.
Vigneault says not to read too much into today's AM skate for power play, but Stralman is playing on it. Book it— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) May 4, 2014
Beyond that, the only other Rangers' news to report is that Chris Kreider again skated on his own wearing a yellow non-contact jersey after the group of regulars finished up.
Again Kreider showing daily improvement with strength on passes. More strength on forehand too.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) May 4, 2014
While Vigneault also said Kreider has showed signs of improvement, he said Kreider's potential to return this round is still unknown, while the coach did not outright rule out Kreider getting a crack at Pittsburgh. On the Penguins side of things, Brooks Orpik is still out with an undisclosed injury, while Brian Gibbons could make his series debut tonight, but his status is still also uncertain.
Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Daniel Carcillo
Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Derek Dorsett
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Kevin Klein - John Moore
Scratches/Injuries: Justin Falk (healthy), Raphael Diaz (healthy), Jesper Fast (healthy), J.T. Miller (healthy), Chris Kreider (hand).