New York Rangers even series with Penguins, Barclay Goodrow out (week-to-week)
The New York Rangers knew they needed to find a way to even their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They had to shake off any disappointment from losing a triple OT game on Tuesday and gut-check themselves to a victory.
They did that and then some.
Led by Artemi Panarin’s three points (1G -2A) and Igor Shesterkin’s 39 saves, the Blueshirts tie the series up with an authoritative 5-2 win.
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Rangers vs Penguins: Andrew Copp strikes first
The Rangers came into the game down two players. Ryan Lindgren (lower-body) was a game-time decision but scratched in favor of Justin Braun. Surprisingly, Barclay Goodrow (lower-body) was also scratched for Dryden Hunt.
“Goodrow is week to week and Lindgren is a game-time decision– day-to-day,” Gerard Gallant said.
New York opened the game with energy and were rewarded 6:50 in when Artemi Panarin waited for Andrew Copp to slide into the slot for a one-timer by Louis Domingue.
Pittsburgh would even the game just 2:02 later.
Panarin was careless with the puck in the neutral zone which led to a Sidney Crosby steal. He then advanced into the Rangers zone and after a scramble it was Jake Guentzel finding a loose puck to tie it.
A power play goal?
The fans at The Garden almost fell out of their seats 1:05 into the second period when John Marino was called for cross-checking Copp.
With just their second power play opportunity in the series in a span of almost 120 minutes, the Rangers made the most of it. Adam Fox upping his wizardry with the puck, took a purposeful shot which Ryan Strome tipped for a 2-1 lead.
Chris Kreider would make it 3-1 with just under 8 minutes to play by deflecting a blast by Frank Vatrano at the point. K’Andre Miller picked up an assist for his first ever point in the playoffs.
It would turn out to be the eventual game-winning goal to give Kreider 7 career playoff winners and tie him with Mark Messier.
Pittsburgh cut the lead when Sidney Crosby put on a one-man show as he fought through a triple-team to score on a rebound.
“We have a one goal lead, just keep doing the things we’re doing,” Vatrano said. “We need to put them on their heels and finish this game off.”
Rangers seal the deal
In the third period the Rangers listed to Frankie’s advice.
It started with Igor Shesterkin refusing to be beat as he stopped all 16 sent his way in the final stanza.
That allowed Panarin to score a crucial goal with just about 12 minutes left in the game.
The Breadman controlled the puck in the Penguins zone, he danced with it looking for anyone to get open. With nothing happening, Panarin started to move behind the net and surprised everyone by banking it on off a defender.
“I do love talking about myself,” Panarin joked with reporters. “But let’s keep the conversation about the team.”
If the Penguins had any ideas of mounting a comeback, Vatrano put an end to that just 1:47 after Panarin scored.
The speedy winger came down the right side and made a shifty move on Mike Matheson to get by him. A quick move into the inside followed by a snipe over Domingue’s glove and it was curtains for the Penguins.
The game did not finish without incident as Jeff Carter ran Shesterkin with 2:04 left. After playing the puck behind to Fox, Shesterkin tried to get back to the crease when he was hit and sent to the ice some pain.
“I feel great,” Shesterkin said. “I just feel funny.”
He completed the game but the head coach was not pleased.
“I’m not happy obviously. In a game like that there is no reason for it,” Gallant said. “Carter is a good honest player but it didn’t look good to me.”
- Igor Shesterkin earned his first career playoff win
- K’Andre Miller earned his first career playoff point (1A)
- Braden Schneider earned his first career playoff point (1A)
- Chris Kreider’s goal tied Jean Ratelle for 14th in NYR playoff points (42)
- Frank Vatrano recorded three points (1G – 2A)
Tomorrow (Friday, May 6): Practice at MSG Training Center (12:00 PM)
Next Game: Saturday, May 7 – Game 3 at Pittsburgh (7:00 PM – TV: MSG, TNT)
*Schedule subject to change
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