The NY Rangers are gearing up for Game 5 with the life of the playoffs on the line

May 5, 2022; New York, New York, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate a central midfield goal by Andrew Cobb (18) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game Two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers face elimination when the Pittsburgh Penguins host Wednesday night for Game 5 of their best of seven series at Madison Square Garden.

Will the real New York Rangers stand up please!

An amazing season is about to end tonight as the Rangers try to stop the Penguins from knocking them out of the Stanley Cup playoffs on ice at home.

New York Rangers support the wall

Their backs face the wall in this must-win game. Defenseman Adam Fox spoke about it after training on Tuesday.

“I think our backs are clearly against the wall and I think we just have to go out and play hard,” Adam Fox said via the New York Post. “Obviously going home will give us a little spark and I think we should give it our all. Down 3-1 you don’t have much to lose and leave everything there and the results will take care of themselves.”

Blueshirts coaching has left out defender Ryan Lindgren, who has missed the last three matches due to injury. It is listed as day in and day out with an uncertain status until the club takes the ice for a pre-match warm-up.

Head coach Gerard Gallant primarily went with the same squad throughout the series (he included Johnny Brodzinski at Dylan Hunt on Monday). Basically, he goes with the guys who brought him here.

Gallant feels that it was hockey style that put the team on the 3-1 hole, not the players themselves on the ice.

“I don’t think we have to change anything. I might change something, but I don’t have to,” Gallant said. “We are what we are, we have to play well, we have to play our game. We can’t be as loose as we were [Monday] night and expect to win hockey games.”

Will the stars of the New York Rangers appear?

May 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left winger Chris Kreider (20) ties up Pittsburgh Penguins left winger Jake Guentzel (59) during second overtime in Game One of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This thinking came under some criticism due to poor top-line play for the team made up of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanegad and Frank Vatrano, who were broken up by Jake Goentzel, Sidney Crosby and Brian Rust in the first four. games.

The quick transition from defense to offense for Pittsburgh was a bright indication of why the Rangers struggled. The defense was caught running, repeatedly flipping the disc and unable to cover the players in the hole where the majority of Penguin’s goals were scored.

Ryan Strom, 1G-2A 3-pointer, understands the importance of top players rising to the challenge of winning the game of elimination. This team overburdens the top two lines. Strom teamed with Artemi Panarin and Andrew Kopp in scoring six goals and 11 points in the four games he played.

“You can’t get anywhere without your best players, but in the NHL and in the playoffs, you can’t get anywhere without a full effort of four lines and six dimensions. So I think everyone, especially from the last game, could be better. There is no Doubt about that. But if we’re going to win…we’re going to change the momentum here, he’s going to take everyone in the lineup.” Strom continued, “I think we all know that, definitely starting with the guys at the top, sure. No doubt, 100 per cent.” They did not agree more.

Galant could use the “kids” line a bit more, which gives the team some balance on the score sheet.

Alexis Lafrenière, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko offer a fearless and gritty gameplay that differs from the top two. Galant should take advantage of this on Wednesday and try to wreak havoc on the penguins who manage to strike back at any charge the Rangers throw in their path.

Rangers vs Penguins notes:

  • Expect Patrick Nemeth to be in tonight’s lineup if Lindgren gets a scratch in the fourth in a row.
  • Igor Shesterkin will start tonight. He won the Vienna Cup final on Tuesday.
  • Mika Zebinejad is looking for his first goal in the qualifiers, and there is no better time than tonight to score a goal in the net.
  • Adam Fox has points in four straight games (2G-2A), the longest streak by a Rangers defensive player since Ryan McDonagh in 2014 (5 GP).
  • The Blueshirts are 20-8-3 after a loss of any kind this season.
  • Except in 2020, 10 Rangers made their playoff debut in this series (Chesterkin, Georgiev, Fox, Lindgren, Chettle, Kaku, Miller, Schneider, Kevin Rooney, Lavrenier).
  • Chris Kreider is the only player to remain with Rangers after appearing for the team in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Barkley Goudreau (2020 TBL and 2021 TBL) and Sammy Blais (2019 STL) are the only two active Rangers roster with at least one Stanley Cup. Both Goudreau and Bliss are injured and are not in the squad.
Gerard Galant Rangers

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