The New York Rangers playoff run was cut extremely short this year after they were defeated 6-3 by the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 this afternoon. The entire series was a struggle right from the start for the Rangers, as the Penguins completely outclassed them in every facet of the game. Much like last game, the Rangers didn't do nearly enough to help Henrik Lundqvist, and the Penguins took full advantage of their opportunities.
Henrik Lundqvist can only do so much without any sort of support, and once again, we saw just how much better the Penguins were than the Rangers this afternoon. Aside from the first half of the opening period, the Penguins pretty much had their way with the Rangers once again in the offensive zone, and the Rangers had absolutely no answer for the pressure.
The Rangers were actually able to get on the board first in this game, after Rick Nash caught a deflection in the high slot as Dan Girardi's point shot came sailing in. Unfortunately, that lead would only last about eight minutes until Carl Hagelin was able to tab home a slick feed from Phil Kessel on the far side of the net. The Penguins and Rangers continued to trade goals past the halfway mark as Dominic Moore scored for the Rangers, followed by Phil Kessel sniping one home.
While the score was deadlocked at two after 20 minutes, the Penguins completely took over the game in the second period. They were able to score four more unanswered goals coming from Bryan Rust (2), Matt Cullen and Conor Sheary. That essentially put the game away for the Penguins as they held a commanding 6-2 lead heading into the final frame.
Henrik Lundqvist wound up sitting out the third period, and rightfully so, with Antti Raanta finishing out the remainder of the Rangers season in between the pipes. The Rangers were able to get one final goal at the 5:38 mark of the third period, as Chris Kreider deflected Raphael Diaz's shot in from the right point. For the remainder of the game, the Rangers were able to generate their fair share of chances, but were unable to beat Matt Murray.
As disappointing as it is to get bounced in the first round, maybe this will be a blessing in disguise that the Rangers sorely needed. This team was flawed right out the gate in October, and the entire organization failed to adjust properly. There will hopefully be some major changes over the summer, and for our sake, I really do hope they are for the better.