This is what the Rangers have been making ready for all season lengthy.
Every comeback victory, all 27 of them within the common season and the three within the first spherical in opposition to the Penguins, has laid out the psychological basis for them to deal with what can be at stake in Game 6 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff sequence in opposition to the Hurricanes on Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Their season is on the road for a fourth time in these playoffs. Each time thus far, the Rangers have risen to the problem and attacked it head on. The competitors could also be harder, however this is similar Rangers workforce that has constantly willed itself into the win column irrespective of the circumstances.
The Rangers is not going to solely have to faucet into the resiliency that has been their defining trait since October, however they may have to present that they deserve to proceed enjoying into June for the Eastern Conference ultimate.
“We got to win one game,” Chris Kreider stated. “So that’s our focus … win one game, win one shift, win the first period and go from there.”
To defeat the Hurricanes, the Rangers are going to have to dig deep. Down to the roots of what separates them from each different NHL workforce, they’ll have to unleash it to pull this off. Relying on goalie Igor Shesterkin’s heroics alone seemingly gained’t lower it. Waiting on a puck bounce to go their manner is simply too dangerous. Hoping for Carolina to proceed its five-game shedding streak on the street simply gained’t do.
The Rangers could have to take cost of their very own future and make it occur. To achieve this, the Blueshirts want their biggest strengths to be simply that.
The energy play, which has been each the Rangers’ benefit and demise on this sequence, can’t let alternatives go it by. Their physicality could have to break down the Hurricanes’ forecheck. And their prime gamers could have to appear like prime gamers.
The Rangers will want the play-making and dynamic model of Artemi Panarin, whose two assists by 5 video games hasn’t been practically sufficient. Kreider could have to be the goal-scoring beast that he was within the common season, and never succumb to the streaky play that has been attributed to his complete career. Mika Zibanejad should play just like the top-tier No. 1 heart that he’s.
And Shesterkin could have to play just like the Vezina Trophy winner that he virtually definitely can be introduced as within the coming weeks.
The alternative for the Rangers to additional set up themselves as respectable Cup contenders is right here, in opposition to a workforce that has been making an attempt to do the identical lately. The time to show one thing to themselves and the remainder of the NHL is now.
“Your backs are against the wall,” head coach Gerard Gallant stated Friday. “You go out and play your game. You know if you lose this game there’s no tomorrow. We did that real well the last series, and hopefully we can do it again. I don’t think we change anything strategy-wise. We just go out and play our game and get ready to play. Obviously, there’s a sense of urgency that if you lose this one, you’re done.”