NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins haven't fared too well when forced to close out a series in a Game 7 on home ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in recent years.
They'll need to do that Tuesday in order to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.
The Penguins appeared to unravel at the most inopportune times, taking undisciplined penalties and getting caught up in a few unnecessary skirmishes, on the way to a 3-1 loss against the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. What once was a 3-1 lead in this best-of 7 series is completely gone after the Penguins dropped their second straight game.
Pittsburgh will host New York in a winner-take-all finale Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).
Among the nine penalties called against the Penguins, three were roughing minors. There was also one for too many men, and James Neal received a 10-minute misconduct with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
"Frustration is a tricky word; if it leads to uncharacteristic things, like uncharacteristic play and penalties, then it's bad," Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "But you saw we had real desperation to be aggressive and go after them.
"Our compete level was really high when we were down 2-0. We had a really good push in the second half of the first period and were battling like heck to get back in the hockey game and couldn't score. We were pushing really hard and [Marc-Andre Fleury] played well the rest of the game. We need a better start so we don't cross that bridge again. We need to just lay it all on the line."