Game 6 is an elimination game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, and the New York Rangers will need to knuckle down. Game 5 ended in a similar fashion to Game 2 vs. the Montreal Canadiens and Game 2 against the Ottawa Senators. Head coach Alain Vigneault had some questionable deployment which led to a game-tying goal and an overtime loss. This series should be over, and at the very least the Rangers should be up 3-2. Failure to learn from previous mistakes is dangerous, and teams who blow multiple games in a series usually don’t win them. For a breakdown of the game check out Blueshirt Bullet Points.
Here’s a look at how the Rangers performed through the lens of Game Score.
1.) Jimmy Vesey | 1.41
It is a shame that this is another great game by a rookie that will be forgotten due to the end result. Vesey has been a bloodhound on the puck creating havoc and up until Saturday’s game, he had just about done everything but score.
With the game tied 3-3 Vesey willed his way to a loose puck and fired it over the goal line and into the glove of Craig Anderson. It required video review, but the goal counted and should have been the game-winner for the Rangers.
2.) Ryan McDonagh | 1.20
McDonagh had a rough start to the game but rebounded nicely. His signature moment was deflecting a puck fired by Michael Grabner into the net toward the end of the second period. It was a game-tying goal and gave the team momentum heading into the third period. Thus far in the playoffs, McDonagh has been solid despite playing with an anchor in Dan Girardi, and you almost wonder what he’d be capable of with a legitimate top-pairing right-hand defenseman.
3.) Brendan Smith | 1.11
The Rangers would be absolutely foolish to let Smith hit unrestricted free agency, and they should sign him to a new contract as soon as the season is over. Smith made an amazing play to set up Jesper Fast for the first goal of the game and it got the Blueshirts going in the right direction.
He happened to be on the ice for the game-tying goal and for some reason he was paired with Marc Staal instead of his usual partner Brady Skjei who didn’t see the ice for the last five minutes of the game.
Brady Skjei did not play the last 5:04 of the third period.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 6, 2017
Game 6 is on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers need to win or their season is over.