Game Grades: Game 16 @ New York Rangers
The Penguins had been riding high on a four game winning streak. The New York Rangers hosted them tonight in a divisional matchup. Unfortunately, the Rangers were not gracious hosts, handing the Pens a huge loss. Hereâ€™s the details.
EVEN-STRENGTH OFFENSE: E
They had some time in the first and in garbage time at the end of the game with some zone time, but they were unimpressive the rest of the time. They couldnâ€™t generate much, and what they did was blocked or gobbled up by Lundqvist. Those two goals late for the Rangers took the starch out of the Pens and they never recovered.
EVEN-STRENGTH DEFENSE: E
Five goals is unacceptable for a team at the top of the Eastern Conference. The Rangers outworked The Pens: they beat them to pucks and won the 50/50 puck battles all night. It would be hard to pick out any one defenseman who was better or worse tonight â€“ they were all pretty rough tonight.
POWER PLAY: C
This was the lone bright spot for the Pens tonight. They did get their only goal on the power play, and they were able to get a number of chances. Crosby was robbed on their first chance, which could have made this a totally different game.
PENALTY KILL: A
They killed all three of the Rangersâ€™ power plays. The Rangers did generate a few good chances, but this was the one time where the Pens made smart plays in their own end.
Fleury gave up five, but he was left out to dry quite a bit tonight. But he wasnâ€™t as sharp tonight as he had been up to this point. It was a tough night for the whole team. It wasnâ€™t MAFâ€™s night tonight.
FINAL GRADE: E
This was one of the worst efforts from the Pens in quite a while â€“ probably the worst game theyâ€™ve played this season. They were flat, the Rangers pretty much did what they wanted to do for the great majority of the game and Pascal Dupuis left the game early (nothing was announced at the writing of this article). The is oddly familiar of that game towards the end of last season when the Pens were coming off their 15-game winning streak. Lundqvist was strong all night, but the Penguins didnâ€™t do enough to make his night more difficult.
AND FOR THE RESTâ€¦
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: A
If he hadnâ€™t been Henrik Lundqvist in the first period, this game could have been different. Hard to say, though â€“ the Pens certainly didnâ€™t give him much challenge after the first ten minutes of the game. But on the isolated exceptions where the Pens generated a quality chance, he was up to the task.
THE WHOLE PENGUINSâ€™ ROSTER: E
Normally I mention a few players who really played well or didnâ€™t play well. But in this case, there really isnâ€™t a way to pick this performance apart. Maybe it was the extended rest between games, maybe it was an off night. But they just didnâ€™t have it tonight.
He had a huge hit in the first period. I missed who it was on because it wasnâ€™t a wise decision at the time in the neutral zone.