The Penguins acknowledged they didn’t play with the same intensity as the Rangers in Game 5 and would work to correct that in Game 6.
However, the Rangers once again demonstrated the will to survive against the Penguins in Game 6 en route to a 3-1 win that has forced a do-or-die Game 7 Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
“It’s pretty clear, we didn’t show up,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.
New York set the tone in the first period, outshooting the Penguins 12-2 and scoring two goals in the opening 6:25 minutes. Though the Penguins would fight back and even the play for the rest of the game, Pittsburgh never dug themselves out of the early hole.
“The last two games our starts have hurt us, again tonight,” Crosby said. “We knew it was something we had to improve and we didn’t. We paid the price for it. Hopefully, next game we learn those lessons.”
Martin St. Louis, Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard scored for New York. Brandon Sutter scored the Penguins’ lone goal. Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for the Penguins, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 for New York.
The series now comes to one game. A 60-minute battle (at least) for the right to play in the Eastern Conference Final. The Penguins will have to find a way to turn the page on the last two games and put it all on the line Tuesday night. Because there is no tomorrow.
“All Game 7s are big,” Crosby said. “We can’t change what has gotten us to this point. All we can do is make sure we show up for Game 7.”
---Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan, Penguins.com
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