The Pittsburgh Penguins thought that this semifinal series was over after Game 4. So did Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, Craig Morgan of FoxSports.com and Colin Horgan of The Guardian. Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times struggled to find positives for the New York Rangers before the series even began.
Yet the Blueshirts saluted the fans at Madison Square Garden following Game 6, not as a final farewell, but as a way of implying "we'll be back." This after winning two straight games to pull to a 3-3 tie with the Penguins, forcing a pivotal Game 7.
The Rangers are now playing with house money. The team they're up against and the entire hockey world thought they were goners on May 8 after they were beaten 4-2 in Game 4. Instead of rolling over, the Blueshirts rallied around Martin St. Louis, got Chris Kreider rolling in Game 5 and found a way to pull even.
All the momentum is in New York's favor as the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7. There are numerous things that the Penguins need to do to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. They are out of chances gimmie' now, and it's time to either attack the notion that they're a team without killer instinct or live with it.
All statistics appear courtesy of NHL.com and are accurate through Game 6 of this series.