It didn't look good early on Sunday afternoon for the New York Rangers, as the depleted Pittsburgh Penguins used goals from Deryk Engelland and Nick Johnson to jump out to a quick 2-0 lead. That would be all the Pens could muster.
Ryan Callahan scored two power play goals as the Rangers scored five straight en route to a huge 5-2 victory. It ended a terrible 0-4-1 stretch that saw New York drop like a rock in the Eastern Conference standings, and Blueshirt Banter says that now the team can finally turn the page.
Well it's finally over, folks. The worst stretch of the entire season has finally come to an end, but the Rangers now need to build on this moving forward. It's one win, great, but they need to make it into three or four in a row here. They are safe in seventh for now, but there are teams quickly creeping up on the in the Eastern Conference standings.
Now, it's Pittsburgh who finds themselves free-falling. They're missing more forwards at present than most teams have been forced to deal with all season, including their two best players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and we're seeing now that the loss of those players is severely impacting the team. Since losing Malkin for the season on February 4, the Penguins are 1-4-0 and have been outscored 22 to 7.
They still occupy fourth place in the East by virtue of other teams not taking advantage, but they need to start winning some games or that's not going to be the case for much longer. This one on Sunday against a division rival certainly stings.