Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game…“We didn’t pick a good night to manage the puck the way we did tonight. I don’t want to take any credit against Pittsburgh, they forced the play and they played a real solid game without the puck that obviously forced us into a lot of those turnovers. Our puck management tonight and execution tonight weren’t very good and ultimately cost us the game.”
Henrik Lundqvist on the series…“I think when you play against this team you have to realize that every little play matters. They have the skill, and they do make you pay if you are not careful. I think we did a good job of that in the first game, just playing a very simple game. That’s how we have to go there. Every little play matters against this team, especially in the playoffs when sometimes it might be hard to create that big scoring chance. We just have to stick together. It’s a tough feeling, no question, to lose two in a row at home here. We will try to learn from the last two games and realize what we need to do better. Just look at yourself, what can I do better to help this team win? And that’s the way we all have to look at it right now.”
Brad Richards on the team’s play tonight…“We got in our own way and uncharacteristically didn’t execute and it mounted. It just seems like everything right now is going that way. The reason we met is because it can go the other way on anyone just as quick. The last thing we can do tonight is go home and think it is over. We witnessed it this year. We witnessed Chicago last year. Some of the tests you have to go through to get to where you want to go. For whatever reason, we’re getting tested right now. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but we have to forget about it quickly and we know we can play a lot better than that without even going over anything. We know we can execute and do things a lot better than that, so we will get right back into the battle. We all wish we were playing right away and can’t wait to get back in there. That’s when it will feel normal again, when we get back playing.”
10:05PM: First Period:
- Evgeni Malkin (5) Backhand shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (7)
- Carl Hagelin (3) Snap shot - ASST: Ryan McDonagh (1)
- SHG - Brandon Sutter (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Gibbons (1), Kris Letang (3)
- Jussi Jokinen (6) Wrist shot - ASST: James Neal (2)
- Mats Zuccarello (3) Backhand shot - ASST: Anton Stralman (3), Marc Staal (2)
- Chris Kunitz (3) Slapshot - ASST: Evgeni Malkin (7), Sidney Crosby (8)
- 2 goals and 15 shots is just not good enough in a must win game. The Rangers didn't have the puck enough because.....
- When the Rangers have struggled this season the reason in probably 95% of the cases is puck management and turnovers. The Rangers were either trying too hard to make plays or had no idea what they were doing with the puck. It's an issue that has cropped up from time to time and came to the forefront in a big way tonight.
- Every time Alain Vigneault is asked about Rick Nash he says that Nash is working hard and getting chances. That is very evident when you watch Nash play but it's just not enough, especially in crunch time. I'm a Nash fan and a big defender but he somehow needs to will the puck into the back of the net. He isn't going anywhere, unless he wants out, so unless he starts scoring like crazy in game five and carries the Rangers into the next round, he could score 100 goals next season but nothing will matter until the playoffs start.
- In the end, whether you want to admit it or not, the Penguins are better than the Rangers just like how the Bruins were better than the Rangers last year. Cite the PP struggles or the lack of scoring from the Rangers top players, the difference is how much higher a level the Penguins get to and play at than the level the Rangers play at.
- New coach, new style new players any way you shake it, the second round the last two years continues to show how much of a gap exists between the top tier teams in the East and the second tier where the Rangers are.
Game notes via the Rangers:
- The Rangers were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2, tonight in Game 4 of the Metropolitan Division Finals at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts trail the best-of-seven series, three games to one.
- The Blueshirts have posted a 5-6 record in the playoffs this year, including a 3-3 record at home.
- New York was credited with 28 hits in the contest, as 13 different skaters recorded at least one hit, while eight Rangers were credited with at least two hits. The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL, and first in the Eastern Conference, in hits in the playoffs (339; 30.8 hits per game).
- The Blueshirts were credited with 20 blocked shots in the contest, as nine different skaters recorded at least one blocked shot, and three were credited with at least three. The Rangers lead the NHL with 196 blocked shots in the playoffs (17.8 blocked shots per game).
- The Rangers allowed 27 shots on goal against in the game. New York has held its opponents to 30 shots on goal or fewer in eight of 11 playoff contests this year, including all six postseason games at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL, and first in the Eastern Conference, in shots against per game in the playoffs (26.5), and have allowed 135 shots on goal at home in the postseason (22.5 shots against per game).
- Carl Hagelin tallied a goal and recorded two shots on goal in 14:56 of ice time. The Rangers forward is tied for the team lead in goals (three), is tied for second on the team in points (six), and is tied for fourth on the team in shots on goal (23) in the playoffs. Hagelin has registered seven points (four goals, three assists), along with a plus-four rating in his last 10 playoff games at Madison Square Garden.
- Mats Zuccarello registered a goal, was credited with a team-high, five hits, and blocked two shots in 17:50 of ice time. Zuccarello is tied for the team lead in goals (three), is tied for fifth on the team in points (five), fourth in shots on goal (23), and ranks third on the team in hits (29) in the playoffs.
- Anton Stralman tallied an assist and was credited with two blocked shots in 19:28 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman has recorded three assists in his last six playoff games, including two assists in his last three playoff games at Madison Square Garden. Stralman is tied for fifth on the team, and ranks second among defensemen, in assists (three), and is tied for third on the team in plus/minus rating (plus-three) in the playoffs.
- Marc Staal registered an assist and tied for the game-high with four blocked shots in 18:42 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman ranks third on the team in blocked shots (23) and average ice time (20:01) in the playoffs.
- Ryan McDonagh recorded an assist and tied for the game-high with four blocked shots, while skating in a team-high, 26:07 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman leads the team in average ice time (24:53) and ranks second on the team – and sixth in the NHL – in blocked shots (26) in the playoffs.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves in the contest. The Rangers goaltender has a 5-6 record in the playoffs, including a 3-3 mark at home, along with a 2.27 GAA and a .915 SV%. Lundqvist ranks fifth in the NHL in GAA and SV% in postseason play this year.
- Dan Girardi was credited with two hits and three blocked shots in 24:52 of ice time. The Rangers defenseman leads the team in blocked shots (30) and ranks second on the team in hits (37) in postseason play. Girardi ranks second in the NHL in blocked shots and fifth in the NHL in hits in the playoffs.
- Brian Boyle was credited with three hits in 11:25 of ice time. The Rangers forward leads the team and ranks fourth in the NHL in hits (38) in the playoffs.