Game 4. With a chance to put the young and inexperienced New York Rangers on the cliff of elimination, the Pittsburgh Penguins shoved with both hands.
The flood gates opened. The dam burst. The torrential downpour and animals filled the ark, two-by-two. The Penguins scored more goals (5) in the second period against the New York Rangers and goalie Igor Shesterkin than in the four regular-season games (4). The Penguins scored two goals in 24 seconds early in the period and two goals in 35 seconds in the final minute (and seven seconds).
The Penguins won Game 4 in Broadway-style, 7-2. They earned a commanding and authoritative 3-1 series lead by limiting New York to under 30 shots and ripping over 40 at both Shesterkin and Alexander Georgiev, who relieved the Rangers starter for the second game in a row.
Georgiev was rumored to be frustrated with his lack of playing time in the regular season. Welcome to the party.
After a back-and-forth first period, the Penguins attacked the Rangers in the second period. A little more attention to detail and a little more execution. It sounds trite, but the whacks around the boards and failed clears became little touch passes to spring the breakout.
“I thought (Game 4) might have been our best effort as far as our play away from the puck. I thought we did a better job limiting some of the odd-man rushes. We were on the right side of the puck for most of the night, trying to make it hard for the Rangers to get quality looks,” head coach Mike Sullivan said.
And the Penguins’ forecheck-slash-puck pressure became unbearable for New York, but the Penguins didn’t have to sell out to achieve that.
And one Sullivan staple was on full display.