Tonight will be only the second time in Rangers history that they’ve forced a seventh game after going down 3-1 in a series. The last time they recovered from that kind of deficit was in 1939 against the Bruins when they stormed back from a 0-3 series hole to force a Game 7 only to lose that game in triple overtime.
…i tell you what, if the Rangers lose in triple overtime tonight, I might have to shut the blog down because I’m not sure I’d ever be able to recover from that kind of defeat.
But I digress. By grabbing the emotional edge in the series and riding it to two straight victories the Rangers have put themselves in a very familiar position that they’ve accumulated a lot of success in…a Game 7.
According to Dan Rosen at NHL.com, the 20 players expected to be in the Rangers lineup tonight are a combined 62-6 in Game 7s, including Brad Richards who is 6-0.
Henrik Lundqvist is 4-0 with a 0.75 GAA, a .973 save percentage and one shutout in his last four Game 7s. That’s just ridiculous.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 12, 2014
Conversely, the Penguins have had major difficulties closing out series of late as they’re now 4-8 since winning the Cup in 2008 when having the chance to close out a series and are just 2-6 all time at home in Game 7s.
Since the Game 4 debacle at MSG, the Rangers have played fast and loose which has translated into victories and immense pressure on the Penguins.
“We don’t have any pressure,” Derick Brassard said after the victory Sunday night. “We were down 3-1, now we’ve tied the series. The pressure is still on them. We need to get the job done in their building. We’ve been playing very good on the road, so why not us?”
With the Rangers undefeated in their last four Game 7s, including one in Washington last season, coupled with their ability to win on the road all season (tied for 2nd most road wins in the NHL) they actually have the Penguins right were they want them. Which sort of scares me.
To be honest, tonight’s game is gravy, as I never expected them to get to this point after Game 4. A continuation of the effort and emotion we’ve witnessed the last two games will suffice for me. That is, as long as they don’t lose in triple overtime.