Rangers 5 - Penguins 1: Points Per Game

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Rangers Unsung Hero

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MATT: While there were plenty of options here, in the end I had to go with Ryan Callahan for his stick save in the first period that kept the game scoreless. In my opinion, that was the turning point of the game. As Henrik Lundqvist said after the game, Pittsburgh is a different team with the lead, and up until that point, I felt Pittsburgh was carrying the play. But Callahan was at the right place at the right time and kept the puck out just before it crossed the line. Right from the start, though, Callahan was his usual, physical self, and it continued for 60 minutes, as he finished with a game-high five hits. After all that, I nearly forgot to mention his goal, which was huge right after Pittsburgh got on the board in the second. It gave the Rangers the three-goal lead back, and they gave Pittsburgh nothing more the rest of the night.

 

JIM: I like your call on Ryan Callahan, Matt, but I am going with Ryan McDonagh here. The Mac Truck was burned on the game's first shift when Sidney Crosby flew around him for a prime scoring chance, but then McDonagh threw the blanket over the NHL's top scorer, keeping Crosby off the scoresheet for only the third time this season. While it's true that it takes five defenders and a goalie to match up against a star player or a number one line, McDonagh did most of the consistent work against Crosby and his top-line 'mates last night. McDonagh was the ony Ranger to log more than 20 minutes of ice-time---finishing with 25:02---and he was all over Crosby every time he entered the offensive zone. McDonagh also scored the important game-opening goal and finished with four shots on goal, heeding Alain Vigneault's request that the defense be more involved offensively. The Rangers are now 7-0-0 when McDonagh records a point.