After a devastating Game 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at home last Monday, the New York Rangers are remaining confident in themselves. Monday’s 6-2 loss showed a side of our New York team that fan’s have not seen in a long time. It also broke their 15 consecutive games decided by one goal in the playoffs streak.
They were undisciplined and according to their Captain Ryan McDonagh, the team took “selfish penalties.” However, today is a new day, and in the playoffs you cannot linger on one game too long. You think about what went wrong and get back to work the next day. You must have a short memory in hockey in order to be successful.
Now, with Game 3 lingering on Wednesday night, the team must regroup and remain focused. This team has bounced back all year after ugly losses and knows what it takes to win games.
One good thing to come out of Game 2, the Rangers went 2 for 5 on the power play. They will look to continue to remain on that streak tonight.
The key to winning on Wednesday is to stay out of the penalty box. The Lightning have shown that they can burn the Rangers with the extra man. Staying out of the box and shutting down Tyler Johnson will be two major keys to ensure a Game 3 victory.
The Rangers will also need their star players to lead by example. Their head coach, Alain Vigneault, called out his top players and has given them the message that they need to elevate their game. Martin St. Louis has been held without a goal the entire postseason, which is not like him at all.
Coaches will always say that momentum does not carry over in the playoffs because every game is a new life. The Rangers have shown that they can have a bad game and come back to completely dominate the next.
The Rangers are just three wins away from returning to the Stanley Cup Finals for two consecutive seasons. While they may not need to win both games in Tampa, it is crucial for them to win at least one game on the road.