Greenberg, New York – The New York Rangers’ mentality in the second stage of what they hope will be three games to be won in the first round of the Eastern Conference will not change if Sidney Crosby Not playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“The same pressure still remains,” Defensesman Jacob Troup She said. “We started our last game here and we really don’t have a choice.”
But Rangers’ approach would likely be different if the Penguins were without their captain and the main scorer for Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena Friday (7 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, MSG).
Pittsburgh leads a best of 7 series 3-2 after the Rangers avoided elimination with a 5-3 win in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, when Crosby suffered a second-half upper body injury that left his standing. For the 6 forgotten game.
“It might make some of our players who have to play against him more confident, but they’ll put [Evgeni] owners [on the top line] “He’s another great player coming to you,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. Syed is clearly one of the best players in the world and has been for a long time. If he doesn’t play, we’ll play our same game, we won’t change. We try to contain him as much as possible when he is on the ice. If it’s not there, maybe it helps a little, but we can’t change what we’re going to do.”
Mika ZibanjadAnd Chris Crieder And Frank Vatrano It could change, though. They’ve been matched 5-on-5 against Crosby’s line that also features Jake Goentzel And Brian Rust for the whole series and it didn’t go well for them.
The Penguins’ top streak scored 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) on the same strength in five games, including Guentzel’s seven goals. Meanwhile, Zipanegad, Kreider and Vatrano combined with seven points (three goals and four assists) with equal power.
Crosby’s line outperformed Zipanegad 4-1 in head-to-head matches, even in strength. Crosby has also won 61.2 per cent of his matches against Zeibaninejad in the past three matches.
“It’s very useful in the ice for them, especially at the point of view,” Kreider said. “That’s part of his game where he’s been particularly dominant on this series.”
But if the Rangers don’t have to worry about Crosby, Zibanijad, Crider and Vatrano will likely feel they can reverse some of their fortunes in Game Six.
“It definitely opens things up for them,” Gallant said. “Maybe they are thinking of a little more attack than just a little more defense.”
It’s also worth noting that Rangers could have one of the best forward checks in the squad if Tyler Mutt cleared to play.
Mott has been off an upper body injury since April 7, but trained with the team for the first time on Thursday and Gallant said there was a chance to play in Game Six.
“I think so, but I’m not sure,” Gallant said. “He had his first full training today with us and everything looks fine. I would say it’s a game time decision, but I have to get clearance from the doctors and coaches. But today was a good first step.”
If Mott can play, that gives the Rangers another striker they can use in a checking role against the best of the Penguins, both in equal strength, particularly in defensive encounters and in penalty shootouts.
This, too, should help relieve some of the burden that New York’s top officials have been carrying on all the shows.
“A very influential player,” Kreider said of the death. “He plays with all kinds of pace, all kinds of work ethic. Very good at penalty kicks, blocking shots, a guy whose game is very detailed, skilful, and skates well… That would be a great addition to our squad.”
However, it is the Rangers’ mentality that matters most to them. They lost Game 3 and 4 in Pittsburgh by 14-6, including 7-2 in Game 4 on Monday, when Gallant called his team to play “soft all over the ice.”
He said it was forgotten.
“I don’t put too much in the way the last time we played with them there,” Gallant said. “That’s what I tell the players after every period or after every shift, it’s not what you did before, it’s what you will do tomorrow, so look forward to your next shift.”
Or save next to the goalkeeper Igor Shesterkinwhich was pulled from every game in Pittsburgh, allowing a total of 10 goals in 45 shots in three periods.
Shesterkin was named to the finals of the Hart Cup, awarded to the most important player in the National Hockey League, on Thursday. He was also selected as a finalist for the Visina Cup, awarded to the best goalkeeper of the regular season, on Tuesday.
He made 29 saves in 32 shots in the fifth game.
“Now we’re 3-2 and we have to win a game in their building,” Gallant said. “You don’t have to worry about the past. You go there, and prepare yourself to play.”