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Penguins on the Verge of a Second Round Collapse

The Pittsburgh Penguins might just be amidst another playoff collapse. On Sunday night, the Penguins were defeated 3-1 by the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their best of seven NHL Eastern Conference semifinals series.

Pittsburgh had held a 3-1 lead in the series, but allowed New York to even the series. Huge pressure will be on the Penguins in Game 7.

In what looked like a walk in the park for Pittsburgh after four games and a 3-1 lead, the Penguins now face the prospect of being eliminated and having a turbulent offseason if they are not able to win at home in Game 7.

The Rangers have outscored Pittsburgh 8-2 in Games 5 and 6 to tie the series. The series has now come down to a one-game – win and move on or lose and go home – showdown.

Tuesday night’s Game 7 will be a defining moment for the hugely talented Pittsburgh franchise.

A loss in Game 7 looks to have more severe ramifications for the Penguins at this point than it does the Rangers. New York started the series strong by winning Game 1 on the road in Pittsburgh.

However, the Penguins came back to win three straight to put the Rangers on the brink of elimination. Pittsburgh has not been able to win the close-out game and face another difficult task at home on Tuesday in Game 7.

Following his team’s loss in Game 6 on Sunday, Sidney Crosby the Pittsburgh captain said all Game 7s are huge. He said he and his teammates could not change what got them to this point, but they can show up and play strong in Game 7.

The Penguins have had their problems starting the past two games. The Rangers rode an emotional wave in Game 5 after Martin St. Louis’ mother suddenly died.

In Game 6, the Rangers scored two quick goals before 7 minutes had elapsed in the first period. The first goal was scored by St. Louis, when he knocked a bouncing puck past the Pittsburgh goalie.

St. Louis said his mother has helped him through the series. It was a tough day for him being Mother’s Day as his dad and sister were at the game.

The big question in the series has been the play of Sidney Crosby. The captain of the Penguins registered only one shot in Game 5.

He has not scored a point in two straight games and only has one goal and one assist in the six games of the series.

However, it is not just Crosby disappearing on offense that put the Rangers back into the series. James Neal has looked lost in the past two games for Pittsburgh. One might wonder if Neal being switched from playing with Evgeni Malkin the veteran center could have something to do with his play.

Neal has only registered one goal with 2 assists in the 6 games of this series and only 4 points in all after 12 playoff games.

Pittsburgh must regroup and come out on Tuesday with fire and not fall behind early otherwise, the Rangers will take them out of their game and eliminate the Penguins from the playoffs.

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