Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Penguins win 4-2 | PIT leads 3-1 | Game 5 Sat.
New York Rangers: Right now the Rangers look like a completely defeated team. To come out with that kind of effort in a home game and down 2-1 in the series? Inexplicable. It started in the first period when they had 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes alone. They were never crisp on the puck and could get nothing done offensively. Really, they had 15 shot on goals in a full 60 minutes -- 15! -- and that's with the Penguins playing most of the game with just five defensemen. Their top players are MIA. Considering Marc-Andre Fleury has been playing better lately, that's really a tough way to try and win. Defensively they weren't a whole lot better either, Ryan McDonagh certainly doesn't look right. They still have one more loss before they are done but with how they played on Wednesday night, the Rangers look like toast.
Pittsburgh Penguins: We don't mean to take away from the Penguins here because they certainly were the much stronger team in this game, but it's almost as much about the Rangers not being good enough as it is the Penguins playing well. Coach Dan Bylsma made the decision to start Brooks Orpik and that didn't work well as he was re-injured in the first period, leaving the Penguins to play with five defensemen but you really couldn't tell. They locked down the Rangers and were creating turnovers all game with the pressure. Offensively, Bylsma has pushed the button at the right time to get the superstar line of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz together because they've been dominant. They still have one more game to go but right now the Penguins are looking very good and they could have some rest if they care of business.
Play of the Game: This ended up being an insurance tally for the Penguins but Chris Kunitz's goal was an example of a few things. First of all, Evgeni Malkin was being Evgeni Malkin. But there was also the turnover at the Rangers blue line that started the whole thing, McDonagh not being able to keep up with Malkin and then Martin St. Louis leaving Kunitz all alone right in front of the net. Henrik Lundqvist didn't stand much of a chance with a good shot. It was a good shot.
Player of the Game: There weren't many people for either team who really stuck out in a good way in Game 4 but one guy who did was Evgeni Malkin. He opened the scoring with an awfully nifty spinning backhander by the side of the cage and then created the play on Chris Kunitz's goal in the third period. When he was on the ice the Penguins severely outattempted the Rangers. It helps playing with Sidney Crosby but right now Malkin is playing the best on the line.
Consider it this way: The Rangers had 15 shots on net in this game, Malkin attempted 14 by himself.
Turning Point: Really from the opening jump it was pretty much all Penguins but the Rangers did make a game of it in the second period. So what turned it back to the Penguins' favor? Why, a Rangers power play of course. Brandon Sutter's short-handed tally took whatever wind the Rangers might have had in their sails.
GIF of the Game: This was certainly a nice play from Lee Stempniak but this is part of the mounting evidence that something is just off with McDonagh right now. He's been undressed a couple of times in this series and that's not something we see from him often (via @MyRegularFace).