Rangers need to turn page for important Game 5 battle in New Jersey

Rangers need to turn the page for Game 5
New York Rangers’ Vladimir Tarasenko (91) looks to pass during the second period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils Monday, April 24, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photos

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant wasn’t thrilled with the team’s effort immediately following the 3-1 loss in Game 4 to the New Jersey Devils. It’s been a day after the series was tied at two, and the coach isn’t too keen on sugarcoating his emotions following the team’s lack of effort in a home playoff contest. 

“We need more from the top-6 forwards. They know that I know that and hopefully, they’ll be better next game,” Gallant said Tuesday morning. 

Gallant’s double down on his comments of needing more from his top lines did not extend to everyone. The coach singled out goaltender Igor Shesterkin and the Kid Line as the only group that he approved of their performance. It didn’t come as a surprise when Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, and Kaapo Kakko each received rushes to end the contest. 

But this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A stretch of bad play doesn’t mean the season is over, nor does it mean that it’ll magically change overnight. For New York to regain control of a series they were once dominating, they’ll need to turn the page on what has been a rough couple of nights of home-ice hockey.

“Just disappointed in the way we played and the way we showed up, but again it’s a playoff series. It’s 2-2. You turn the page and you start to prepare for the next game. That’s all you can do. That’s what the playoffs are all about,” Gallant added. 

New York’s had their fair share of 2-0 deficits and leads being wiped away over a few days. During last year’s playoff run that saw the team reach the Eastern Conference Finals, the Blueshirts came back from an 0-2 hole against the Carolina Hurricanes to win in seven games. Just a round later found the Rangers holding a 2-0 lead over the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Lightning, but couldn’t win another game in the series. 

New Jersey poses unique problems to New York that Carolina and Tampa Bay just don’t. If the Rangers aren’t able to turn the page successfully though, they could very well be eliminated by the weekend. 

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