Rangers facing two-game deficit for second straight series

Henrik Lundqvist says he will play despite a shoulder injury in game 2. Credit: Getty Images
Henrik Lundqvist says he will play despite a shoulder injury in game 2.
Credit: Getty Images

The facts paint a bleak picture for the Rangers.

For the second straight series, they return to the Garden in a 0-2 hole. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there has not been a team in NHL history that has won consecutive Stanley Cup playoff series after spotting opponents the first two games as the Rangers have against the Capitals and the Bruins.

The Rangers have been outscored 8-4 in the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Only three players — Brian Boyle, Carl Hagelin and Anton Stralman — have a positive rating after the first two games of the series. The power play is 0-for-8 in the first two games and 2-for-36 in the playoffs.

And their Vezina-finalist goaltender appeared to injure his shoulder in the final moments of Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 loss in Game 2.

With all of that said, head coach John Tortorella painted a much different picture.

“I thought we played a much better game in the second game,” Tortorella told reporters after the Rangers’ practice in Greenburgh, N.Y. on Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s Game 3. “I’m very optimistic as far as where we’re going as a team.”

Tuesday’s game is at the Garden, where the Rangers are 3-0 in these playoffs and have outscored opponents 9-6 in those games. The Rangers finished the regular season with a 16-6-2 mark at the Garden compared to a maudlin 10-12-2 road record.

The biggest reason for Tortorella’s confidence is a Henrik Lundqvist, who appears likely to play in Game 3. Lundqvist, the reigning Vezina winner, tweaked his arm in the third period of Sunday’s loss while making a diving save.

“I landed on it awkwardly and it hurt a little bit but it’s under control,” Lundqvist said. “Everybody is sore. It’s the playoffs. You can’t sit out because it’s hurting a little bit. It happens. You have to do the right things to keep it going.”

In order to extend their season past the next two games, the Rangers will have to be decidedly better defensively than they were in the first two games, in which the Bruins attempted 143 shots towards Lundqvist.

To that end, it appears as if the customary top defensive pairing of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi will be reunited. According to reports, the two skated together during Monday’s practice session.

Split up prior to Game 1 in order to have a strong defender on the ice against Boston’s top two lines, the two logged their accustomed ice time while partnered with Anton Stralman and Michael Del Zotto, respectively. McDonagh finished with a goal in Game 1 in 55:55 of ice time in the series, while Girardi is minus-4 with an assist in 51:34 spanning the first two games.

Girardi was on the ice for four of Boston’s goals in Game 2, including Brad Marchand’s top-of-the-crease tap-in 26 seconds into the third period which gave the Bruins an insurmountable, 4-2, lead.

“We can defend,” Tortorella said. “It surprises me that we made some mistakes that we very rarely do on simple coverages. The third and fourth goal, they’re simple coverages and we beat ourselves.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…