So far, it’s been different.
After a Game 1, where the Rangers scored their traditional 2-1 win, the other games have been high scoring affairs.
“I would say I can’t really comment on the West. But in the East right now, you’ve got No. 1 and No. 3 in scoring,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “Each game has been very different on how it’s been played, and that’s to be expected. I mean, each game unfolds in different ways. So far, I think it’s been a very exciting series where skill set is prime. I mean, both teams are fast, highly skilled, and it’s great for the fans.”
Sure great for the fans, but a little nerve racking, especially for goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who experience the two worst playoff games of his career. That said, his round in Game 4 gives the Rangers hope for optimism, especially after they dropped five goals apiece in Games 3 and 4 on Lightning netminder Ben Bishop.
“I think everything was fine until the last ten minutes, and then I think I don’t know if frustration came out of us a little bit, if it was whether to score or whether it was the physical play against our guys. It seemed we lost our composure a little bit,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. ” We talked about it in the room. That’s just not who we are and that’s not how we have to present ourselves.
“But then I sit there and think about it, the grind these guys have gone through for a month and a half, they should get frustrated at some point. But I don’t think the physical nature of what’s gone on in this series — it’s not at the level as it was in the Detroit series, and our guys got through that. So they’ve just been different series. So good for them.
“They’re turning it up and trying to find a way to win, and they’ve had success at it. But I don’t think them being a little bit more physical has changed the way our guys are playing.”
Game 5 is tonight and the Rangers will look to take the series lead for the first time after regaining home-ice advantage. The Blueshirts will enjoy tonight and series finale Game 7 on Friday at Madison Square Garden. For them to win, they need to continue the momentum they received in Game 4 and get their scoring from all four lines, especially from future Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis.
“Marty is still a kid at heart,” Vigneault said. “Anybody that’s around him knows that he’s very passionate about the game. Doesn’t matter, I think, if you’re a first-year professional or a 15-year professional, when you’re having issues in an area, it affects your overall ability.
“In Marty’s case, he was finding other ways to contribute. He was working extremely hard being the leader that he’s supposed to be. But at the end of the day, we all know that we need him to score goals, and hopefully that will be the start of something really positive for him and our team.”
The puck drops at 8pm.