Against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semis, the Rangers were able to pull out a dramatic comeback down 3-1 in the series. The Rangers face a similar feat in front of them that they had to pull off last series, and that is winning a game 6 on the road facing elimination to force a game 7 at Madison Square Garden. Can the Rangers come from behind once again?
The Rangers are more than capable of coming back on the Tampa Bay Lightning, but every time the Rangers dig themselves a hole, the odds of them climbing out of it decrease with time. Tampa Bay is a different entity than Washington, they have many more offensive weapons and have seemed to overwhelm the Rangers at times with their speed, which coincidentally is the Rangers strength. They are beating them at their own game.
Three of the five games in this series have not been close, so at this point to predict an outcome for game 6 is silly. Rather, it is important to look at the constants. Tampa Bay will score if they get on the power play, and Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to keep the Rangers in the game with big saves. The main goal for the Rangers should be to get bodies to the net in front of Tampa Bay net minder Ben Bishop who has proven to be pedestrian when truly challenged. If the Rangers stay out of the box, get guys to the net, and don't turn the puck over in their own zone, we will have a game 7. It is easier said then done, however.
Tampa Bay is a quick strike team and is riding a lot of confidence from their young scorers, Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson. They are dangerous, and very good. If the Rangers cannot find a way to better contain these guys, they will find themselves booking their tee times at the golf course. It is time for guys like Keith Yandle and Dan Boyle to step up, and show why they were brought to New York. They have had a subpar performance in these playoffs, but the past is the past, and they have to be solid with the puck if the Rangers have any chance.
When it is all said and done, the Rangers comeback will depend on their ability to score on the man advantage. If they can be efficient on the power play then they will be in good shape. The experience factor is on the Rangers side, but it only means so much when you are playing a team that has just as much talent as you do. Its do or die for the Rangers, and they must answer the bell. It is Stanley Cup or bust for the blueshirts, so we will see if they have something to say in game 6.