The New York Rangers will skate against Pittsburgh in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and another loss would be a devastating blow.

  • New York Rangers 
  • Pittsburgh Penguins 
  • NHL, Today, 3:00 PM on NBC Full Preview
  • CONSOL Engery Center, Pittsburgh, PA

By Chris Wengert

When the New York Rangers take to the ice today, they will be playing in a must win Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

The teams of the past few seasons proved that they were incredibly and even historically resilient.

Those Ranger teams were able to come back after being down 3-1 in a series, and were able to accomplish such a task two years in a row.

Rick Nash: Misunderstood Unicorn, Or Flat Out Dud?

Unfortunately, I don’t think this year’s team would be capable of that same magic if they were to lose today.

An already fragile team was made even weaker after Game 1, a game in which both Dan Girardi and Henrik Lunqvist were the latest victims of the injury bug.

However you have to wonder if Girardi’s absence from Game 2 is truly a result of injury or rather a combination of horrific play and injury.

Alain Vigneault’s comments about Girardi weren’t exactly encouraging.

As far as Hank goes, he’s officially a game time decision but I would be surprised if he doesn’t play today.

But the Rangers will always keep you guessing with their typical playoff gamesmanship.

And just while the Rangers are busy dealing with their injuries, the Penguins have some rather important players returning from injury.

That’s just what the Rangers needed.

The New York Rangers cannot afford to lose Game 2, and it’s as simple as that.

They need to make smarter choices with the puck and show some serious jump throughout the game. Too many players have had mental lapses like we witnessed in Game 1 with Girardi’s gaffe, and those boneheaded decisions need to end.

Rangers’ Keys To Victory

Be Smart

It sounds so elementary, and it is, but the Rangers have had a knack for making bad decisions whether it be poor positioning, coverage, passes, or shots.

This Rangers team doesn’t have a lack of talent, but they have shot themselves in their feet on plenty of occasions as a result of these bad decisions.

The Rangers need to play a safe and smart game. Sounds so simple doesn’t it?

If the Pens are going to win this game the Rangers need to make them earn it. 

Paging The “Big” Guns

When I previewed this series I discussed how both Rick Nash and Eric Staal could possibly make a difference.

Possibly.

They need to produce, they just need to. This is the time of year when goal scorers need to score, grinders need to grind, and Hank needs to stop the puck.

Staal has driven to the net plenty but it’s time for him to finish those plays.

Rick Nash contributes for many facets of the game, but it’s time to score.

Enough is enough. 

Rangers’ Keith Yandle: ‘New York, Let’s Go To Work’

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