Rangers one loss from elimination after Penguins take Game 4

Jussi Jokinen
Jussi Jokinen netted his sixth goal of the playoffs in Game 4.
Credit: Getty Images

The Rangers are one game away from being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs after a wretched 4-2 loss to the Penguins in Game 4 of the Metropolitan Division final Wednesday night at the Garden.

The Rangers trail the best-of-seven series 3-1.

Game 5 is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

“I’m not going to lie to you, this is not the ideal night for us,” Brad Richards said following a closed-door team meeting after the game. “The amount of time and effort we put into trying to put our best game on the ice, and for whatever reason we just didn’t put it together. We got in our own way and uncharacteristically didn’t execute.”

For a game head coach Alain Vigneault termed “as close to a must[-win] game” after the morning skate, the Rangers were surprisingly passive. After two periods, they trailed 2-1, had been outshot 17-11 — including 10-5 in the second period — and out-attempted 48-26.

For the game, the Penguins finished with a 27-15 advantage in shots and out-attempted the Rangers, 66-38. The Blueshirts also had 25 giveaways.

“I think we’re trying to put our best effort forward,” Dan Girardi said. “It’s not going, obviously. It’s not pretty. We’re trying to make plays; it’s hitting stuff. [They're] keeping us in our own end. We just have to find a way to play with confidence and create those plays, get some offense.”

The Rangers never led in Game 4, as Evgeni Malkin put Pittsburgh on the board 2:31 into the match with a spinning backhander that eluded Henrik Lundqvist (23 saves).

“I don’t want to take any credit away from Pittsburgh,” Vigneault said. “They forced the play. They played a real solid game, [and] obviously forced us into a lot of turnovers. Our puck management and our execution wasn’t very good, and ultimately cost us the game.”

Carl Hagelin tied the game at 1-1 5:30 into the second period with his third of the playoffs. Hagelin’s goal, a snapshot which beat Marc-Andre Fleury (13 saves) five hole, ended the Rangers’ scoreless streak at 145:30.

But the Rangers would never take a lead.

Brent Sutter tapped in a short-handed goal at 18:27 of the second, and Jussi Jokinen added an unassisted even-strength marker 7:02 into the third to put the Pens up 3-1. Mats Zuccarello cut the deficit to 3-2 with his third goal of the playoffs, but Chris Kunitz’s goal at 14:04 allowed Pittsburgh to regain the two-goal advantage.

By that point, the 18,006 fans in the Garden had taken to verbally expressing their displeasure with the Rangers, Nash in particular.

Nash came into the game leading all players in playoff shots with 41, but had not scored a goal this spring. He misfired on four attempts in Game 4, most notably whipping a drive high and wide as the Rangers came in on a 3-on-1. In 27 career playoff games, the left wing has recorded 12 points (two goals and 10 assists).

“I understand sports and where it’s all at,” Richards said of Nash, who was booed every time he touched the puck in the third period. “But it’s not one person, it’s the whole team. We didn’t play tonight. For one guy to get booed or whatever it is, it’s frustrating.”

For the first time in this playoff season, the Rangers were essentially whole as Kreider drew back into the lineup. Kreider, who had been out since March 28 after having surgery to repair a broken left hand, was paired with his usual linemates Nash and Derek Stepan.

Kreider attempted three shots in 15:24 of ice time and committed a two-minute minor for high-sticking Sidney Crosby in the third period.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

Review: The semi-good times don't last in the…

Despite the occasional blast of Iggy Pop and The Buzzcocks, the YA move "If I Stay" — with a near-dead Chloe Grace Moretz — soon turns maudlin.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…