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
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.