Looking to capitalize on the strong performance in Game one, the New York Rangers look ahead to make a statement in game Two against the Pittsburg Penguins Saturday night. After a gritty, and focused performance at Madison Square Garden in game one the Rangers seek to continue the momentum and good feelings. One aspect that will be expected to galvanize the team come Saturday will be the return of defensemen Dan Girardi.
Girardi appeared at the Friday afternoon practice suggested that that nothing will change his approach going into game two despite taking a puck to the face late in the third period. Girardi Stated, “Everything’s fine, you’ve got to practice.” Girardi continued, “That goes for anybody on the team. If you’re good enough to skate, you go skate.” Solidifying the collective mentality of the team.
The Alternate Captain lead the team in hits (224) and blocked shots (184) during the regular season and it will difficult to imagine that his sacrifice, and dedication will not influence the rest of the team. Thursday nights game also demonstrated the ability of the Rangers to play whistle to whistle and remained focused on their game.
Through out the night The Penguins attempted to goad the Rangers into taking bad penalties after the play. The disciplined Rangers team would have none of it and stuck to their guns coming away with the 2-1 victory. One of two things will happen with the Penguins game on the 18th. Either they will attempt to once again shake the Rangers, or try to focus on improving their own game.
Either way the Rangers will have the upper hand as long as they can remain active on the power play. The Rangers will look to improve their numbers from game one in game two as they scored once in five opportunities. If the Rangers can remain dangerous on the Power Play, the Penguins may not have another option to utilize in an attempt to win.
Similarly the Rangers defensive performance will be key against the offensive threats that the Penguins provide. Expect another strong performance at home. The Rangers this season have been a better road team winning 28 games away from MSG, so expect the Penguins to play desperately to steal one in New York. Game time: 8pm 4/18/2015