Pittsburgh rolls to conference finals with Hossa's overtime winner
Pens top Rangers 4 games to 1
Game #5 – Pittsburgh Penguins 3 – New York Rangers 2 (OT)
Marian Hossa has been accused for not being a playoff performer in the past with the Ottawa Senators, but his 2 goals in Game #5, finished off the Rangers. Sidney Crosby assisted on both of Hossa’s goals including the game winner, 7:10 into overtime, where the puck somehow ended up on his stick. New York cannot put the blame on their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, who made 37 saves on 40 shots.
The game was scoreless until Hossa and Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the second period, while Marc-Andre Fleury only had to make 11 saves heading into the third. With their hockey season on the line, New York gave up the defensive style to push forward and score with anyone or everyone. Finally, Lauri Korpiskoski gave the Rangers hope, scoring a goal on his 7 minutes of playing time. That was followed by Nigel Dawes tying the game up at the 3:05 mark of the final period. From here, Fleury kept his boys in the game to take Game #5 into overtime.
In OT, the Rangers did not even manage a shot on net, while the Pens’ scored the paralyzing goal on their sixth shot. Pittsburgh cleared the bench and suffocated “Hossa the Hero” with a celebration as that goal takes them the Eastern Conference finals against their in-state rival, the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Here are the key factors in this series as stated in our 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals preview:
There was only one game in this series that Fleury played better than Lundqvist, making me fell like the Rangers let their goalie down. He faced 40 shots in a game that they had to win, while Fleury only faced 22.
I do not care what anyone says, Sean Avery was needed by Rangers to have any chance. Because of his lacerated spleen, he was out for Games #4 and #5, and his gritty style was missed. Cannot cry over split milk, but his injury added with Shanahan’s poor play, send them home. Petr Sykora and Ryan Malone were not exceptional either in this series, but the win makes them look better.
The toddlers of Pittsburgh really had all the answers for the elderly Rangers. They did get shutout once but equaled by getting a shutout. New York could not keep up with the pace of the Penguins, period.
Jaromir Jagr may have played his last game in a Rangers jersey or possibly in the NHL. Where the hell was he in Game #5 when his team needed him most? He did not register a single point, a shot on net or a drop of sweat off his brow. You think someone, who is in desperate need of a win and got more than 23 minutes of ice time, would do more.
Pittsburgh wins series 4-1.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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