Now is the time and this is where the Rangers team can make their mark and establish themselves as the rightful heirs of the Henrik Lundqvist Era.
This is the night of Game 7, the Rangers and Penguin return once more Sunday under the bright lights of Broadway.
This is the game that has been waiting for Artemi Panarin throughout her career. This is an opportunity for you to work on a special project when you meet a special player.
The Blueshirts need a big night out from Panarin just as they need a big night out from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider to keep this live series in Game 6 in Pittsburgh on Friday. Four goals later split between the two and the Ranger expanded the series for another three days.
Panarin games have become less popular recently. A player you can’t take your eyes off has been turned into a player you never knew. No electricity at No. 10 games. There is no jumping in his feet. He can’t get past, struggling with the barn, holding on twice in the shot that has given him.
The clever hockey has passed through the looking glass.
This is not a bad hockey.
It is unbelievable that this is all that Rangers will receive from Panarin through this competition. It is also impossible to believe that Blueshirts will succeed if they do not get much from the winner. This could be used for this purpose when the group wants to survive for the third time in five days.
For the most part, Game 5 and 6 were good for the Rangers’ team in the psyche even though they won against the last enemy. Overcoming a 2-0 deficit in everything confirmed the confidence of the Blueshirts. This has not been ordinary hockey in any way: There is a lot of puck chase, there are more changes in the D-zone, and the team does not shoot enough net.
But there is also the same courage in the playoffs as the Rangers have shown throughout history. There is also the same reliable thing. There is a goal.
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The Blueshirts will not have to worry about who will or will not be on the Pittsburgh list. He wouldn’t be taken if Sidney Crosby deserved it. He would not worry if No. 1 Tristan Jarry is back in the net for the first time since breaking his ankle in an April 14 victory over Islanders.
This is for the Rangers, who have shown a lot of stinging since Ryan Lindgren entered the race in Game 5 after missing three games with a lower back injury he suffered or grew in three extra games. These have been Lindgren’s two best games of the season. Probably not by accident, Adam Fox promoted his game with No. 55 to his left.
Kreider was here when the Rangers became the first and only team in NHL history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in consecutive years, with a first comeback in 2014 against the Penguins with Game 7 on the road and then the following year against the Capitals. Derek Stepan finds the winner of extra time in Game 7 at the Garden. A scorer of Zen scores like 52 (plus four others on this list) can provide insight into what it takes to complete a comeback.
But No. 20 can also issue a warning about taking ice home carelessly. The Rangers were very confident when the 2015 final match against Tampa Bay went down in Game 7 at the Garden after winning Game 6 on the road. That is what the teams did. This is what they were. They came from behind in several series. Won 7 Games. Won 7 Games on Broadway.
Instead, the Rangers had gone 6-0 from 2012 through the Caps series in 2015 in the seventh game behind Henrik Lundqvist, with 4-0 at Garden. They seemed invincible. Until they were shut out, 2-0, by Lightning in the final game.
The Lundqvist Rangers went 15-4 in a game that could end in four years. The Shesterkin Rangers are 2-0. They need someone to get rid of this and put their names next to the likes of Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal.
The Blueshirts got to the point where it looked impossible in less than a week. But even though it is better than the other way around, it is still close to So What? and None. The Rangers have found their starting point but have not played their best game. They will need it in this. They will want it from Panarin.
The time has come. It’s time for the Rangers to face it.