Game 5 Recap: Pens Give Embarrassing Effort, Lose 5-1

Jamie Sabau

The New York Rangers force a Game 6 by easily beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in a poor outing by the Pens.

One quote from captain Sidney Crosby said it all tonight after the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 5 of their divisional finals series.

"I don’t think there’s much good to take from it, to be honest with you,"Crosby said. "I think we’ve got to make sure we come with the right mindset going into New York. Whatever mindset we were playing with tonight, it wasn’t enough."

While it clearly wasn't enough, I'd be so bold as to offer the following as at least one good moment, from the magic of Evgeni Malkin.

Malkingoal_medium


A sublime effort from Malkin, who literally refused to be stopped. Unfortunately for the Penguins, that was about all of the good that there was from Game 5.

Marc-Andre Fleury was kicking out rebounds left and right, and he didn't get a ton of help either from his defense, especially by Matt Niskanen on the third goal against. Throw in two avoidable penalties- a delay of game by Robert Bortuzzo shooting a puck off the rink when he had more time to move it, and a too many men- and even the Rangers ice-cold power play got in on the act.

Just like that, halfway through the game the Pens were down 4-1. From there, they'd get a few more chances on Henrik Lundqvist, but he pretty much saw everything they threw his way, so he stopped everything they threw his way...Often times smothering any chance of a rebound for a second chance opportunity, unlike his counter-part at the other end of the ice who awkwardly fought the puck all night long.

Any chance for a comeback fell short in the second period when the Pens failed to score on an extended 5-on-3 power play. And, don't look now, but Pittsburgh's formerly top ranked PP unit is a Ranger-esque 1 for 15 in this series. That, like many other elements of the team's game, is going to have to perform a lot better in the coming games.

It's difficult to beat a team four times in a row, which is what Pittsburgh would have done by winning tonight. That said, it's troubling that they couldn't match NYR's desperation, which they were able to do in earlier games in this series.

"You have to turn the page real quick," coach Dan Bylsma said. "We're getting on a plane [Saturday] and we have to go to the Garden for Game 6. It's a tough building and a team that's playing desperate right now. They played desperate in Game 5 and had a big victory. Now we're forced to go back there and play better. We have to play with that same desperation [as the Rangers] and we have to do it back there."

We'll see if the team can live up to their coach's word by actually doing just that. If not, we'll be looking at a Game 7, with New York feeling pretty good about themselves and a Pittsburgh team having to find some answers for real. As of now, they've handled adversity really well. But next game will be the biggest test yet.

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