Fantasy Football 2014:

Rangers 5, Penguins 1

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Rangers used three-point efforts from centers Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello to stave off elimination in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series on Friday night at CONSOL Energy Center, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1.

The Rangers' much maligned power play proved to be the difference in the game, tallying twice. Before Game 5, New York's power play had been on an 0-for-36 skid.

With the win the Rangers improved to 8-2 in their past 10 playoff games when facing elimination, including wins in three of five road games dating back to 2012. The loss for Pittsburgh was its first in regulation in these playoffs; all three of its previous playoff losses had come in overtime.

It was the Rangers' striking first at 9:36 of the first period. Center Chris Kreider made a diving poke-check to get the puck back to defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who immediately fired a shot on net. Kreider was able to corral the rebound of the McDonagh shot and wrist it past Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead. The team that had scored first had won every game of the series, which held true again in Game 5.

New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had to be sharp in the minutes following the Rangers goal, making several above-average saves, including two point-blank stops on centers Sidney Crosby and Marcel Goc. Those saves would prove to be key in allowing the Rangers to take a 2-0 lead at 15:23 of the first. Zuccarello fired a slap shot on goal from the left faceoff dot that hit Fleury and bounced right to the stick of Brassard, who then slid across the top of the crease, untouched, and tucked the puck past Fleury on his backhand while falling to the ice.

New York dominated the majority of the first period's play, outshooting the Penguins 17-9.

Pittsburgh wasted little time in halving the Rangers lead in the second, scoring 3:23 into the period thanks to an impressive individual effort from center Evgeni Malkin. Skating down the slot, Malkin split defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi and wristed a shot on Lundqvist. The resulting rebound kicked out to the right, but Malkin followed it, spun around, and threw a shot back on goal from a nearly impossible angle that managed to slide under Lundqvist.

Just when it looked as though the Penguins might be gaining some momentum, the Rangers struck twice in less than a minute. First it was Brassard putting the Rangers back ahead by a pair at 7:58 of the second when he got his own rebound and roofed a shot from the bottom of the right-wing faceoff circle over a down-and-out Fleury. Only 50 seconds later, and just seconds after the Penguins had taken a too many men on the ice penalty, the Rangers got their second power-play tally of the game when McDonagh fired a slap shot past Fleury from the right point.

With 1:49 left in the second, the Penguins were awarded an extended two-man advantage, but failed to covert, taking several ill-advised shot attempts that were easily blocked away. The Penguins had the shot advantage 15-9 in the second, but found themselves trailing 4-1 heading into the third.

Defenseman Kevin Klein added an empty-net goal for good measure at 17:31 of the third.

Lunqvist made 31 saves to earn the win, while Fleury turned aside 30 Rangers shots in defeat. Game 6 is set for Sunday night in New York at Madison Square Garden.

NOTES: New York and Pittsburgh are two of just four teams, along with San Jose and Detroit, to qualify for the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. ... The Rangers are one of two teams -- and the only Eastern Conference team -- to win a playoff series in each of the past three seasons. ... The 15 shots allowed by the Penguins in Game 4 was the fewest allowed in a playoff game in franchise history. ... Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist made his 78th consecutive playoff start. ... The Penguins lead the playoffs with three short-handed goals. ... Scratches for the Penguins were D Brooks Orpik (undisclosed), D Deryk Engelland, LW Tanner Glass, LW Taylor Pyatt, RW Chris Conner, and G Tomas Vokoun. Scratches for the Rangers were D Raphael Diaz, D Justin Falk, C J.T. Miller, RW Jesper Fast and LW Daniel Carcillo. ... The official attendance was 18,633.

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 30 9:00 am
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