Blueshirt Bullet Points, Game 2: Senators 6 – Rangers 5

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog by Scott Charles

Game 2’s have not been kind to the Rangers in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs as they blew a two-goal lead late in the third period, and eventually fell in double overtime. Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied his fourth of the contest to give the Senators a commanding 2-0 series lead.

Nick Holden had an ill-advised pinch in the offensive zone which turned into an odd man rush the other way and led to the game winner. Holden, alongside Marc Staal were consistently pinned in their own zone and struggled to move the puck up the ice.

“We can’t do anything about it now, we can only hope the next time we are in that situation we find a way to get the job done,” Ryan McDonagh said after the game on MSG Network.

Henrik Lundqvist has been expected to carry the Rangers throughout the postseason so far, but had a tough game on Saturday.

Blueshirt Bullet Points

1) Alain Vigneaul has said over and over again how important depth is in the postseason. When he first came to New York he mentioned that he learned his lesson with Vancouver and that you need four lines to win in the postseason. Oscar Lindberg, Pavel Buchnevich, J.T. Miller and Jimmy Vesey were all glued to the bench for long stretches. Miller and Vesey swapped spots at one point, but the Rangers used three lines for the final 40+ minutes.

2) Buchnevich struggled mightily in his own end in the few minutes he played, so his benching was understandable. But, Lindberg has been one of the Rangers most consistent forwards in the postseason.

3) Brady Skjei had two goals, and two marvelous defensive plays but in the first two periods he also struggled in the defensive zone. How did Mike Hoffman beat him to the outside, then cut back to the middle to set up the Marc Methot goal?

4) On his second goal, Skjei broke up a three-on-one opportunity, then joined the Rangers rush to create an advantage. Skjei, received a pass from Brendan Smith made a nifty move and slipped the puck between Craig Anderson’s legs. His first goal was not as pretty, but nobody is complaining.

5) Lundqvist made several remarkable saves, including a few in OT but did allow a few he will want back. Pageau’s first goal which tied the game 1-1 should never have went in despite the horrific Dan Girardi turnover, Also, the fourth goal early in the third period was fired wide and took a crazy pass off the end boards. Would have been nice if Staal and or Holden tried to play defense on that sequence.

6) The Rangers got offensive contributions from several forwards who have been invisible in recent games. Chris Kreider tallied his first of the playoffs, and Derek Stepan scored while the team was shorthanded.

7) Michael Grabner also added a shorthanded goal in the first period to open up the scoring. However, the Rangers could not convert on the power play which included an opportunity in overtime.

8) “It’s a good thing we got two days here,” McDonagh explained. “It might take a full day to let this one go. We get an opportunity to practice and get our energy level back, our execution going back, our focus in the right direction leading up to the game. … Our group is not going to give up here. We are going to come out hard here in our building.”

9) Game is set for Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.