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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

Movies

Shia LaBeouf disorderly conduct case pushed to September

A judge on Thursday adjourned until September the disorderly conduct and harassment case against actor Shia LaBeouf, who was charged with disturbing a Broadway theater…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

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

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.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.