The New York Rangers were in no mood to shake hands with the Penguins on Friday, earning a much needed road victory to avoid elimination.
The Rangers got off to a flying start in Game 5 and never looked back, capturing a 5-1 victory to cut Pittsburgh's series lead to 3-2 as the series shifts back to New York for Game 6 on Sunday.
The Rangers applied pressure early and amassed 17 shots against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the first period, two more than they registered in Game 4. The extra pressure paid off as Derick Brassard scored two in the win and the Rangers compiled their best single game goal scoring output of the playoffs.
The series resumes Sunday when the teams travel back to New York City for Game 6 at Madison Square Garden.
It was another busy night for Lundqvist, as the Rangers goalie was forced to make 31 saves during Game 5 while averaging just under 30 saves for the entire second-round series.
He made a number of important saves on the night, including this glove save on Kris Letang in the third period when the Penguins were desperate to reduce the Rangers' 4-1 lead.
After Malkin's early goal in the second period cut the Rangers' lead in half, and appeared to give the Penguins some life after a poor opening period, Brassard answered less five minutes later when he smashed a rebound past a sprawling Fleury to restore the Rangers' two-goal lead.
Malkin was clearly fed up with the Rangers outplaying his team and decided to do something about it early in the second period.
After his team was out-shot 17-9 in the opening frame, Malkin took it upon himself to get his team back into the game when he muscled past Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, only to find himself one-on-one with Lundqvist. After his first shot was saved, Malkin powered home the rebound from a tight angle to make it a 2-1 game.
Quote of the Night
On a day rife with emotions after the unexpected death of Martin St. Louis' mother Thursday, the Rangers forward made the decision, just hours before puck-drop, to participate in Game 5.
After the game, St. Louis reiterated the sentiment that convinced him to play Friday night.
Game 1: Rangers 3, Penguins 2 (OT) (Rangers lead 1-0)
Game 2: Penguins 3, Rangers 0 (Penguins tie 1-1)
Game 3: Penguins 2, Rangers 0 (Penguins lead 2-1)
Game 4: Penguins 4, Rangers 2 (Penguins lead 3-1)
Game 5: Rangers 5, Penguins 1 - (Penguins lead 3-2)
Game 6: Sunday, May 11 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Game 7*: Tuesday, May 13 - TBD
Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Charles LeClaire