Rangers make Fleury look like Dryden, Pens take 2-1 leadMay 6, 2014, by
The Rangers have simply made Marc-Andre Fleury look like Ken Dryden this series. This time around, Fleury stopped all 35 shots directed at him to record his second shutout in as many days as the Penguins took Game Three by a score of 2-0. Fleury benefited from three Ranger posts in the second period, but the fact remains that the Rangers went 0-5 on the powerplay, bringing their streak up to 0-32 or 0-33. I lost count honestly.
Henrik Lundqvist played another solid game, but was beaten on two breakaways. The Penguins managed just 15 shots on goal as well, as the Rangers had dominant puck possession even before the Penguins stopped playing offense. New York had a 34-21 Fenwick advantage at the time of Pittsburgh’s second goal, which was 21-17 at even strength. By the end of the game, the Rangers had a 36-17 Fenwick advantage at even strength (52-21 in all situations). Doesn’t matter though. They got shut out.
On to the goals:
Pens 1, Rangers 0
Crosby simply snuck behind Dominic Moore at the blue line, and Rob Bortozzo simply hit him with the outlet pass, and he broke in alone. Marc Staal played the play right by not allowing Crosby to cut to the middle, but he simply beat Hank five-hole.
Pens 2, Rangers 0
Mats Zuccarello made one of the worst blind, backhand passes to Brad Richards at the point that I have ever seen. Naturally, it was nowhere near Richards, and Jussi Jokinen picked up the puck fresh out of the box and beat Hank on the breakaway.
The insertion of Raphael Diaz for John Moore was a good move by Alain Vigneault, as Diaz seemed more confident with the puck as the powerplay showed some signs of life. And by “signs of life” I mean shots on goal. As for J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast, they weren’t better than what Derek Dorsett and Dan Carcillo bring to the lineup, but they weren’t worse. Fast plays more of a steady game, but Miller sometimes looks lost in his own zone.
The Rangers are now in a must-win Game Four situation on Wednesday night. But they can’t win if they don’t beat Fleury. He’s really not this good. He made some good saves, but the Rangers inability to beat him is astounding. Honestly, I’m at a loss for words. The Islanders chased him from the playoffs last year, but the Rangers have given him 120 straight minutes of shutout hockey. Whatever the issue is, they need to fix it, and fast.