Penguins must bring their own sense of desperation to Game 6 against the Rangers

The Rangers' Derek Dorsett (15) battles the Pittsburgh
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The Rangers' Derek Dorsett (15) battles the Pittsburgh Penguins' Paul Martin (7) during the second period of Game 7 at the CONSOL Energy Center on May 13, 2014.(Credit: Vincent Pugliese)

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The Penguins likely don't need a reminder of what they need to do to win this series against the Rangers. Nothing beyond the video of their effort in Game 5, anyway.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma reiterated his feelings Saturday about his team's 5-1 loss Friday night. He felt that the Rangers showed desperation and his own team showed a lack of cohesion.

"I don't want to say we weren't ready to play that game, but we had some unforced errors. They deserved it," Bylsma told reporters before his team flew to New York for Sunday night's Game 6 at the Garden. "That's something we have to acknowledge. You can talk about them playing well, which they did, but a lot of their opportunities were gift-wrapped by us."

The Penguins were the team dictating the terms through Games 2-4, allowing only two goals and never trailing through all 180 minutes.

The Rangers flipped that script in Game 5, scoring first and piling up shots and scoring chances while the Penguins flailed about.

Robert Bortuzzo, who returned to the lineup for Game 5 after sitting for Brooks Orpik in Game 4, tossed the puck over the glass at 8:44 of the first period Friday night, setting up a power-play goal by Chris Kreider that ended an 0-for-36 slump by the Rangers and gave them a 1-0 lead.

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There was an icing by Kris Letang that set the stage for the Rangers' second goal, which Derick Brassard got on a rebound after Sidney Crosby left Brassard alone in front of Marc-Andre Fleury.

A too-many-men minor led to Ryan McDonagh's power-play marker in the second, a huge goal that gave the Rangers a three-goal lead after Evgeni Malkin had tried to will his team back into it.

And a failed five-on-three late in the second sealed matters, with the Penguins now just 1-for-15 with their star-studded man-advantage in the series.

"Yesterday we tried to make a lot of cute plays, and when it wasn't working for us, they came back on us and capitalized," Rob Scuderi said.

So now it's the Penguins who, instead of building on what they had done, must toss everything aside and bring their own sense of desperation Sunday night to the Garden.

During Crosby's time with the Penguins, they have had only two Games 7 on home ice and lost them both, including one in the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals to Martin St. Louis' Lightning.

"It's really not about a seven-game series, it's about getting four wins. You should be desperate at every opportunity to do that," Bylsma said. "We can't look at it as two more opportunities. We have to look at it as one opportunity, and that's Game 6."

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