Power failure so far for Rangers
A new series hasn't provided a spark for the Rangers' powerless power play.
Even three Penguins penalties taken within the first 7 minutes, 4 seconds of Sunday's Game 2 of this Stanley Cup second-round series wasn't enough to get the Rangers on track.
“We had an opportunity early on to get going on the power play, and we didn't,” winger Martin St. Louis said.
“It's still a 1-0 game going to the third, on the road. We still have a chance. Just didn't take hold of that opportunity.”
Now, following the Penguins' 3-0 win at Consol Energy Center, the series shifts to New York on Monday, where center Brad Richards said the Rangers need to relax.
“Does you no good to be frustrated,” Richards said. “We're 1-1 in the second round of playoffs. Absolutely no sense to be frustrated about it.
“It's a challenge to get out of it.”
The 0-for-29 streak, including 0 for 8 in this series, dates to Game 2 of the first round against Philadelphia.
Lately, New York has had problems getting the puck into the offensive zone, more issues keeping it there and plenty of questions.
Defenseman Anton Stralman was added as a point man on the second unit Sunday, but that wasn't enough to break through.
“The power play had some looks,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “It could have given us momentum. We didn't finish.
“The power play, ultimately, is my responsibility. I have to find the right trigger points here to make it work.”
The Rangers' playoff mark of 8.1 percent ranks last among teams still playing. It's less than half of the team's regular-season success rate of 18.2 percent.
This marks the second consecutive year the Rangers' power play has struggled. They converted 4 of 44 (9.1 percent) chances during 12 playoff games last season.
One of the Rangers' best fixes theoretically would be forward Chris Kreider, who had six power-play goals — one-eighth of the team total — during the regular season, but he has missed the past 18 games with a broken left hand.
After struggling early to enter the Penguins' zone, left wing Rick Nash had a scoring chance from in close on the Rangers' first power play.
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury denied him with a left-pad save.
“We did a pretty good job of breaking up plays when we could before they got to set up, but obviously they did get set up a few times,” Penguins forward Craig Adams said. “Flower made some great saves, but I don't think we gave them too many good looks.”
“The penalty kill might have set the tone for us,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “It might have been our best penalty kill of the year — winning pucks, clearing pucks, winning races, getting it out of the zone, all of it.”
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.
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