Rangers Fall In Playoff Opener
The New York Rangers lost game one of their opening playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 last night.
With Jeff Zatkoff making his first career playoff start in goal for the Penguins, the Rangers were unable to take advantage of his inexperience. The third-string goaltender recorded 35 saves in his playoff debut and picked up his first post-season victory.
Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist recorded a hat trick late in the 3rd period to seal the deal.
The Rangers looked sluggish for the majority of the game. When given a man advantage, the Rangers failed to capitalize; outside of a 5-on-3 situation which netted them their first goal. Derek Stepan recorded the only two goals for the Rangers in the third period as New York tried to come back, but it wasn't enough.
But perhaps the first sign that things were about to go the Penguins way, was when Henrik Lundqvist got injured late in the 1st period. Lundqvist took an unintentional stick to the eye from teammate Marc Staal while the was battling with a Penguins player near the crease. Lundqvist went down in pain for a few minutes but remained in the game. Seconds later the Penguins scored their first goal and Lundqvist was pulled after the period.
"I felt the stick in his helmet; I didn't know where I got him," Staal said. "Any time he goes down like that, and legs are kicking, it's not a good sign."
There is no word on Lundqvist's status for game 2 on Saturday, but it seems likely that back-up Antti Raanta will get the start.