Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Series lead at stake in the Big Apple

By: MF,

We are in the Big Apple at Madison Square Garden (MSG) to watch Game 3 in the first round of the 2016 National Hockey League (NHL) Playoffs between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.

On the injury front, Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) has been ruled out for this one. However, Matt Murray (upper-body) is an option per Head Coach Mike Sullivan (HCMS). UPDATE: Matt Murray will be starting in the net for the Penguins tonight. For the Rangers, Ryan McDonaugh will be back in the lineup since breaking his hand.

The series is currently tied at one a piece and the Penguins look to steal a win on the road tonight. The Penguins are 23-11 all-time in Game 3 on the road and have won 15 of their last 24 visits to MSG (both regular season and playoffs). This season they swept the Rangers at MSG, winning both road games, making it a first since 2012 for Pittsburgh.

The offense is going to be key against the Rangers as Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best netminders in the NHL. Phil Kessel has had success this series as he scored two goals on Saturday. He has been picking his game up lately. Also, the team has received a boost with the return of Evgeni Malkin. Malkin returned in Game 2 after missing 16 straight. He was not happy with his performance in that game and believed that his play wasn’t at 100%. However, Malkin is feeling much better heading into tonight’s game. This year, Malkin has four points (one goal and three assists) in two games played against the Rangers.

With the Penguins having plenty of offensive power, they must also focus on playing smart hockey. They have to be ready to play defensive hockey and keep Murray’s crease empty. They need to pressure often and not give the Rangers any room. Lets Go Pens!

The Pens lineup is as follows:



Murray in the net! 

Play by Play
PENS 3 Rangers 1

3rd Period

0:12 - LETANG SCORES AN EMPTY NETTER! Letang with great defensive work to get the puck and puts it in the empty net! 3-1 Pens

1:22 - Empty net for the Rangers.

3:52 - Stalberg goings flying into Lundqvist. The netminder is shaken up on the play, but remains in the game.

5:05 - Bodies are flying all over the ice. Mostly the Pens doing the flying, but they are bouncing right back up and keep pressuring.

5:32 - Fehr with some good defensive work to keep the Rangers from setting up in the Pens' zone.

6:28 - Kessel gets a chance with only one Ranger defender back. He gets two shots off, but they go wide. Quality chance.

7:29 - Murray makes two quick pad saves and the Pens are able to clear. Rangers re-enter the zone and Murray comes up with a save on Yandle.

8:54 - Nash lays a hard hit on Fehr in front of the benches. Fehr bounces right back up to get involved in the play.

11:10 - Things are getting more physical, which is saying something since the whole game has been physical especially the Rangers play.

12:32 - The first line gets some good offensive zone time and get a chance or two on net.

15:42 - CULLEN SCORES! Cullen gets the loose puck as Yandle and Boyle run into each other at the blue line! Cullen is in all alone and puts it through the five-hole of Lundqvist! 2-1 Pens

16:18 - Sheary uses his speed to get to a loose puck on the boards in the offensive zone. Lundqvist stays in net. Sheary fires one, but Lundqvist makes the necessary save.

17:55 - E. Staal gets a pass up ice, but his slapper is sit into the netting by the stick of Malkin. Nice defensive work.

20:00 - Third period is underway! The Pens need to keep pressuring, get traffic in front, and play smart! Lets Go Pens!

2nd Period
0:00 - Second period horn sounds and things are tied at one.

0:43 - CROSBY SCORES ON THE POWER PLAY! Kessel makes a shot/pass to Crosby, who is at the side of the net! Crosby deflects the puck with his stick past Lundqvist! 1-1 tie game

1:01 - Late power play chance for the Pens as M. Staal is called for hooking.

1:46 - Lines are being mixed up for the Pens. Sheary and Kunitz have switched spots.

2:57 - Rangers get some extended zone time, but the Pens are finally able to clear.

4:50 - Kessel with a shot that is kicked out by Lundqvist. Murray makes his own pad save at the other end.

5:59 - Letang jumps up to keep the play alive in the offensive zone and pivots to backhand one on net! Lundqvist with the save. Good chances for the Pens.

6:54 - Bodies are flying everywhere as both teams are dealing out some big hits.

8:57 - The Pens are starting to come on a bit in the second. Need to keep pressuring.

10:03 - The penalty kill for the Pens is on it as they kill another Ranger power play. Nice work by Murray on that one.

12:03 - Malkin is nabbed for tripping and the Pens will have to kill off another Ranger power play.

12:05 - The Pens get some sustained pressure in the offensive zone and they do a good job of cycling. Nice work after having a bad start to this period.

14:42 - Successful penalty kill once again for the Pens. They need to get some offense going and put traffic in front of Lundqvist.

16:42 - Now the Rangers will head onto the power play as Daley is sent to the box for roughing after a scrum ensues in front of Murray.

17:38 - Kreider is set free and the Pens power play comes to an end.

19:21 - Nash scores a shorthanded goal. Klein throws the puck up the ice and Nash picks it up. He flies by the defense and rifles one past Murray. 1-0 Rangers

19:38 - Another power play opportunity for the Pens as Kreider is called for boarding

20:00 - Time for the second period! The Pens have to keep up the pressure, get traffic in front, and not the Rangers have any room! Lets Go Pens!

1st Period
0:00 - First period comes to an end with things scoreless.

0:49 - Kreider gets a chance down the wing and has a step on the Pens. Murray gets a piece of it!

3:02 - Letang and Kunitz sit for the Pens. Hayes and Stalberg sit for the Rangers. Scrum ensued between them all in front of the benches. No manpower lost for either team.

4:04 - Successful penalty kill for the Pens. Bonino did a great job to get a scoring chance for Hagelin. The penalty killers were on it and did an unreal job to kill off the Ranger power play.

7:04 - The Rangers ended up scoring on the power play, but the Pens use their coach's challenge. The referees rule the play offsides and the goal doesn't count. The Rangers still have a power play for over three minutes.

7:18 - Now the Rangers will have a power play for 3:28.

7:50 - Sheary is sent to the box for high-sticking and it will be a double minor. 4 on 4 hockey for 32 seconds.

9:18 - The first power play of the game will go to the Pens as M. Staal sits for tripping.

9:50 - Good start for both teams. It's currently a battle of the goalies. Both Murray and Lundqvist are making huge saves.

12:01 - Murray is making alert and solid saves to start this one. Good to see him getting into this one and getting the rust off...if there was any to begin with.

13:57 - Murray comes out to cut down the angle and makes a huge save. The Pens head down to the other end where Lundqvist makes a big save.

16:56 - The Pens are buzzing around the Rangers' net. Sheary does some great stick work to keep the puck alive and to get some chances. Lundqvist is finally able to cover for the whistle. 

18:49 - Murray makes a solid glove save to start off. 

20:00 - The puck has dropped at MSG! The Pens have to play smart, get traffic in front, and keep up the pressure! Lets Go Pens! 

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