“Just One More Chance” remains one of my all-time favorite tunes.
It just so happens that “Just One More Chance” easily could be adapted to the Penguins’ plight in the first playoff round.
Pittsburgh has just one more chance to win on Friday night at The Garden to avoid extinction in the playoffs.
Otherwise, what the experts expected to happen from the get-go could happen in five snappy games; the Rangers will be moving on, while the Penguins will be out for the summer.
All the Blueshirts require is the brand of desperation desperately missing in the first period Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
But the Rangers eventually found their gear which led to a 2-1 come-from-behind sudden-death victory thanks to Kevin Hayes’ goal at 3:14 of OT.
Conceivably, Alain Vigneault‘s squad could take Pittsburgh for granted again as they appeared to do in the first period at CONSOL Energy Center. In that segment, the Rangers amassed a grand total of two paltry shots on goal.
“We didn’t win the battles on the boards and we didn’t take a hit to make a play,” said Rick Nash of Tuesday’s super-desultory start.
But the pursuit-pendulum swung in New York’s favor in the middle frame. The result — a late poke-in by Derick Brassard — set the stage for Hayes’ crease-poke past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury who, at that moment, was in helpless nap-mode on his back.
In order to take Pittsburgh out of the tourney on Friday, all the Rangers need is an opening period unlike the one on Tuesday night.
“We have to be our best,” said Mats Zuccarello.
At their best, the roster-superior Blueshirts should easily dispose of Sidney Crosby’s sextet. Here’s how:
- SCORE FIRST: That will ignite an already excitable Garden crowd which will add a few thousand extra decibels and spur the Blueshirts on to even more intensity.
- MORE NASH: New York’s regular-season scoring sensation has been relatively playoff passive so far. A return to the Big Guy’s highest gear will eliminate the Penguins faster than you can say, “Where’s Malkin?”
- MANACLE MALKIN: Well, well, well. So far Evgeni the Enigma has been so far out of radar range, you’d need an electron microscope to find him. But he’s due to eventually score, and you know what that means; keep The Enigma hog-tied.
- MCDONAGH OFFENSE: The Rangers’ captain proved his offensive side setting up the tying goal at Pitt with a swift left alley thrust. Ryan should do more of it against a mostly inexperienced Pitt defense.
Now the Rangers enjoy a brief respite. Up next is Game 5 in which the Penguins get just one more chance.
It says here that Pittsburgh doesn’t have a chance!