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Brassard has three point night, powerplay scores two as Rangers keep season alive

Still alive. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Still alive. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

You read that title correctly. The Rangers scored a pair of powerplay goals last night en route to a 5-1 victory over the Penguins in Game Five. Derick Brassard scored twice and added an assist in a very strong showing by the young center. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves, some pretty solid, as he kept the Penguins from evening the score during their onslaught early in the second period. Chris Kreider and Ryan McDonagh also contributed with goals.

Aside from the powerplay, one of the bigger stories in this game was the play of Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has had a reputation –well earned, mind you– of falling apart in the playoffs, and last night was the first time we saw him show that inconsistent play. He hasn’t really been spectacular in the series, but last night the first and fourth goals were shots that he should have stopped. He was also leaving lots of rebounds all night. It’s something we’ve been screaming for: Shoot the puck on Fleury.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Pens 0

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After several long weeks, many sarcastic comments, and many things thrown at the TV, the Rangers finally scored on the powerplay. First came the face off win, then came the shot from the point by Brad Richards, which was deflected on the way in. Then came the diving play by Kreider to get the puck to the point to Ryan McDonagh and keep the play alive. Then came the first FLOLeury moment of the game, when he let Kreider score from the really bad angle. Kreider made this happen with the diving play, cutting to the net, and realizing that all you need to do is put the puck on net. Felt good to see a PPG.

Rangers 2, Pens 1

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Benoit Pouliot forced Paul Martin into a defensive zone turnover, which caused the puck to go to Mats Zuccarello for a shot on net. Fleury left a big rebound, and Sidney Crosby didn’t cover his man (Brassard) in front, leading to an easy goal for Brass.

Pens 1, Rangers 2

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This goal was a combination of a great individual effort by Evgeni Malkin and poor defense by Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. Malkin managed to split them both, with Staal coming over to “help” by taking neither the body nor the puck. Malkin’s first shot is stopped by Hank, but he got his own rebound and put it past the sprawling netminder.

Rangers 3, Pens 1

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Just when you thought the Rangers were incapable of answering after a goal by the opposition, that third line strikes again. Zucc made a good power move to get by Matt Niskanen on the boards, and manages to draw Brandon Sutter to him as well. Zucc does the ole “reverse pass while skating behind the net” play, allowing Anton Stralman to skate into a shot from the face off dot. Fleury left another huge rebound, and Brassard was there for two attempts. The first was blocked by Sutter, the second roofed for the goal.

Rangers 4, Pens 1

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The powerplay struck again, and it was another FLOLeury moment. This time around, a shot from the point by McDonagh beat Fleury clean over the shoulder. Pouliot was providing a distraction in front, but Fleury saw it the whole way.

Rangers 5, Pens 1

Kevin Klein empty netter. No breakdown needed.

Fenwick Chart

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Boy did the Penguins turn it on in the second period, but the Rangers weathered the storm and managed to extend their lead as well. Perhaps the most interesting item of note here is that the Rangers didn’t really back off when they took a three goal lead. They kept pushing and generating offense, which is a nice change of pace, and perhaps a sign of renewed legs and confidence as they kept pushing for more goals.

The series shifts back to New York for Game Six on Sunday at 7pm. Momentum doesn’t really carry from game to game, but the Rangers have some confidence now, knowing they can score on the powerplay and on Fleury.

One final note, our condolences go out to the St. Louis family, after hearing about the sudden passing of Marty’s mother.

"Brassard has three point night, powerplay scores two as Rangers keep season alive", 4 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.

32 Responses to “Brassard has three point night, powerplay scores two as Rangers keep season alive”

  1. Gary says:

    Okay, so I had 5-4 not 5-1. All the better! The important part of the Swami’s prediction was that they would play with HEART, which they surely did even as Marty played with a really heavy one.

    A great job by a team that came off the rails for a bit but is finding its way back and really, still pretty new at its new system.

  2. cv19 says:

    Can we opt to play the next two games in Pittsburgh?
    I’m a Ranger fan since 1964 (saw three games in the “Old Garden”) and can’t remember our beloveds ever getting booed. Sure, the fans had their targets, i.e. Arnie Brown, Bob Nevin, Ron Greschner, Barry Beck, et al.; but no New York Ranger ever got booed despite our incredible frustration.
    Our “fans” are dog___t! My kids had to hear quite a rant about aforementioned after game four. Does anyone really think Rick Nash isn’t playing hard? It takes a bit of effort to lead the league in shots on doesn’t it? The goals will come. NO DOUBT!
    I will not be going back to MSG this season but I will undoubtedly be making a trip to Boston and subsequently Los Angeles to see my Rangers.

    • Bloomer says:

      I don’t get the booing crap either. But its not just MSG fans, you should watch a game in Vancouver and see how the fans really turn on their team. When a team is playing at home they should have an advantage, as the crowd is like an extra player (ie: Seattle Seahawks).

      The Ranger change their style of play at home, they play that perimeter game where they attempt low percentage passes in the neutral zone rather then get the puck in deep and play a cycle game along the boards. This is what I believe is frustrating too watch and drives Ranger fans crazy.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I don’t get why we don’t play well at home. Even in wins we just don’t have the same jump. The entire team looks tentitive with the puck and they think too much. Just go play the game and feed off the crowd cheering for you. No one gets booed for a mistake. They get booed for lack of effort. Skate hard both ways and play to your strength.
      I don’t know why fans would boo a player on their team but maybe they thought with Nash it would get him going like in Columbus. I have a feeling that game 4 might end up helping. The players may figure F the crowd. Let’s go play rather then worrying about making a perfect play or putting on a show. It’s about wins. My prayers go out to the
      St. Louis family and to Marty himself. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day so I have to think they rally around MSL and win one for his momma. Francis!

    • Snake says:

      I’ve been a Ranger fan almost as long. I went to my first games during their first season in The New Garden. I hear what you are saying and I have never booed the Rangers until this season. Why this season? Because SOMEONE has to let the players know they need to try harder. This team needs a boot up it’s rump. If hearing it from the crowd is required because The AV Club can’t or won’t do it, then so be it.

      Yeah…it makes me feel scummy inside to treat a team I care about that way, but maybe….JUST MAYBE that is what woke this slack @$$ bunch up.

  3. Mr. Snrub says:

    Momentum doesn’t carry from game to game, but Flower being a head case will.

    • Gary says:

      What were the pre-game guys saying? First concern, then doubt and then fear? Something like that for the Pittsburgh team, if the Rangers could win last night. As for the guy in net, he’s too happy to have concern or doubt. He could however go straight from happy go lucky to fear because I think he’s got a manic thing going on; all or nothing.

      Rangers need to get to the net tomorrow night and get in this guy’s head, early and often.

      • Mr. Snrub says:

        It was Pierre.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        That’s probably what AV will tell the players. Play our possession game and he’s gonna let one by. It’s critical we score 1st. Even get that 2nd goal cushion. The Pens will hang in their because they won’t want to play a game 7 after having a 3-1 lead in the series. However if the Rangers play like they did last night and take a lead into the 3rd period. Pittsburgh will break and get chippy. That to me is how we win game 7. By getting the Pens top players off their game. Crosby started last night whining to the refs behind the play instead of competing.
        Malkin is gonna get his chances. It’s as certain as death & taxes. Just have to try to not make a mistake. I think he’s most dangerous without the puck. If he finds a hole and time & space. He will hurt you 9 out of 10 times.
        The other thing(s) the Rangers MUST do is play well in the Neutral zone. They have to manage the puck and support each other up ice. Don’t make 4 passes while working across the red line. They also have to slow the Penguins down. I don’t really like this 1-2-2 forecheck but when used moderately is supposed to cause turnovers. The Rangers are too fast for most teams if they only have to go >100 ft to FLOery. I would like to see AV get more aggressive with a 4-1 lead rather than play back in prevent defense. Send in a 2nd forechecker and force them into mistakes.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      That to me is what makes game 4 so ridiculous. Why not shoot at Flower from everywhere & anywhere. Not only does he let in a soft or down right terrible goal now and then but he leaves rebounds. Juicy rebounds. 15 SOG is a good period, not a game. The Devils are home golfing. This is Pittsburgh. They have mobile defenseman that most of them play Defense like forwards.
      Bylsma is trying to beat the Rangers at their own game, Possession! If the Rangers win the neutral zone and score first. They will win. Just plant Nash in the slot. 5 on 5 and on the PP. The Pens will pay a ton of attention to him. Even double him at times but he needs to be a impact player. Goals or not he has to draw the top competition.

  4. Walt says:

    When they put their hearts into it, this team can play. Last night they gave an honest effort, and we saw the results. Why can’t they do that on a regular basis? Game six Sunday, let’s replicate the same effort!!!!!

  5. Gary says:

    I just realized, flowers tend to wilt in the heat.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      If we are gonna somehow find a way to win this series Gary. We will have to score some goals of course but part of that is getting Flower to choke. That’s a different team in Pittsburgh when their goalie can’t stop a beach ball. Our advantage is in goal and on defense. If the Rangers cycle the puck down low and try to take unexpected shots at him and don’t give up on any pucks. Bank one in off the back of his pad or skate. We get to Flower and we can win this series. Let’s hope the Rangers play inspired hockey for MSL on Mother’s Day.

  6. paulronty says:

    Was never so proud of this team as I was last night. Losing your mother is so difficult, I’ll never forget losing mine, so it took real guts for Marty to go out there. It would be so cool if the Rangers were to win this series(fantasy?) but I’d probably get drunk with joy. Just wish the team could play like that at home sometimes. Even if they lose, last night showed there is spirit & will there. GO RANGERS!!!!!!

    • joe719 says:

      Its a shame that the “spirit” you talk about has to be dragged out of them. Look, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. You never know what kind of effort you will get from this team game to game. But please, just show up Sunday; give us something to hang our hopes on!!

      • Gary says:

        So to repeat, this was one of the best and most consistent teams (with a few blips that all teams go through) in the league since December. That is why it was so surprising when the wheels seemed to fall off.

        This year we usually knew what kind of effort was going to come, so I don’t know where you get that. That is why game 4 was so disappointing. It was not their M.O.

        Last night they had that buzzing, swarming hard press thing going again, which is what they have done way more often than not since Dec.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      If the Rangers win this series, I’ll be drunk with Jack Daniel’s old number 7! Just have to win on the road at MSG so we can take momentum home with us to Pittsburgh. LGR!!!

  7. HARLEMBLUES says:

    They played together in all zones and helped each other.Together they came out of the defensive zone thru the neutral zone into the offensive zone.They played as a five man unit on the ice.Puck moved quickly and they skated hard.Chris Krieder’s pp goal.Play and stay together.Win one on MOTHER’S DAY at home.

  8. Chris F says:

    That was a very inspiring game to watch, a reminder that these guys can outmatch anyone when they put their minds to it.

    Hank was solid, the defense did a good job of limiting Pittsburgh’s opportunities, the PP clicked, and guys kept putting the puck on net and making Fluery’s life difficult.

    The Penguins definitely didn’t bring their A game, though, so going into tomorrow they better not take anything for granted. There were several big opportunities for the Pens in the 2nd that they whiffed on. A few of those connect and it’s a very different game.

    The Rangers need the same effort tomorrow. If they can pull that off, it’ll put Pittsburgh on their heels forcing a game 7.

    Just go out and play your hearts out tomorrow!

  9. Evan M says:

    I just like reading the comments after a loss versus after a win. You’d never know that people are talking about the same team.

  10. Leatherneckinlv says:

    If we get Nash and MSL going we can beat these guys next two…I am amazed at the Brassard line….they have been awesome….brought life to the boys. Kreider should help Nash going.
    Most important facet to the Rangers last night was McD playing to form. Where are my Boyle haters now….he was tremendous and vital to the win last night as well

    • Ray V says:

      If Boyle played like that EVERY game I would hate him less. That effort is not there EVERY game.

      • Gary says:

        He has played like that every game. Just which Boyle are you watching, Dan?

        • Ray V says:

          Been watching the same Boyle you are watching. Had he been playing every game like last night, no one would even need to point out the fact he did? Am I correct?

  11. Leatherneckinlv says:

    You probably have never played Hockey, me speculates. I agree he should be more physical, but he is a darn good player. He is also now playing where he needs to on the 4th line. I will take him on my team any day

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      People that don’t like Boyle don’t understand the way a team is built. You need certain intangibles throughout your lineup. Boyle could have been more physical in his time here, tho I think this season has been his most gritty as a
      NY Ranger. I close my eyes when he carries the puck in the neutral zone but he’s been great this year. Best season as a Ranger IMO.

  12. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Before Boyle slide and blocked that shot on that pk.He miss getting the puck out twice with no pressure on him.Boyle is unappreciated by some over by others and doesn’t get a fair look.He fcked up twice before he made the play it could have costed us.

  13. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I will take him as PK specialist and on a grind line. I like him and appreciate what he brings to the team. My only knock on Boyle is he can be a lot more physical. His value is else where and it is not a noticeable position unless you have played Hockey. It is like trying to explain Algebra to a 5th grader, you won’t get it