New York Rangers say ‘Not Tonight’ and stay alive with 5-3 win
The New York Rangers’ backs were against the wall, but they got a spiritual lift when Ryan Lindgren took the ice for Game 5.
In a must-win game, the Blueshirts were down 2-0 early but stayed in it. However, they kept their composure and stuck with the game-plan to play straight line hockey. That commitment paid off with a 3 goal explosion in the second period to take the lead.
Despite the Penguins answering 13 second later to tie it heading into the third period, the Rangers did not go soft tonight and scored a huge PP goal less than three minutes in.
Then for the final 17 minutes, led by the heart of Lindgren and the goaltending of Igor Shesterkin, who stopped all 15 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes, the Rangers held on.
Now they are heading to Pittsburgh to try and force a Game 7.
“There’s a lot of talk in the room about resiliency and it showed itself on the ice,” Chris Kreider said on MSG. “Regardless of the situation we have to stay together. It takes a team to win in the playoffs and we need to play good team hockey.”
Recap: Rangers 5 vs Penguins 3
The Pittsburgh Penguins opened up the scoring with another bank shot goal off Shesterkin. Once again it was Jake Guentzel, who picked up his 6th goal of this series to give them the lead.
That was followed up by another tally from Kris Letang all alone in front converting a feed from Evgeni Malkin to make it 2-0 7:58 into the second period.
With the New York Rangers needing a spark they got one in the form of a big Jacob Trouba hit on none other than Sidney Crosby with 6:20 remaining.
The hit caught Crosby high as he was crouched down looking at the puck. He was knocked out of the game and the Penguins said he is still being evaluated.
“Did you see the hit? Then you have the same opinion I do,” an upset Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game.
What followed over the next 2:42 absolutely electrified the Garden.
Adam Fox, who has struggled without Lindgren started to come around in this contest. Getting the puck at the point, he made a fake and moved in to snap it over Louis Domingue’s glove to cut it 2-1.
The Kid Line played a big role in this win with Kaapo Kakko finding Alexis Lafrenière alone in front to tie it up.
“The crowd was unbelievable tonight,” Lafrenière said. “We’re playing as a unit, we’ll try to keep it going and win Game 6.”
Trouba then scored a gorgeous goal as he took the puck from the point all the way in on goal beating Domingue through the legs.
Guentzel tied things back up after an uncharacteristic giveaway by Shesterkin. It was his 7th goal of this series and set the stage for an all-heart final stanza.
Chytil to the rescue
Prior to the game, Filip Chytil talked about shooting more.
“We didn’t do that the last two games, so now we have to change it and put into our heads that every shot can end up in the goal,” he said. “We just have to shoot more.”
And shoot he did 2:53 into the third.
It was a broken play that Lafrenière was able to kick the puck down low to Chytil, who turned around and beat Domingue with a quick shot for the power play tally that became the game-winner.
For the next 17 minutes, the Rangers dug deep and played hard hockey. Shesterkin also came up big when the Penguins applied pressure but stood tall.
In the end, it was Ryan Lindgren, who you could tell was playing hurt lift a puck over Jake Guentzel and into the empty-net to seal the deal.
“That’s what he is. He’s a character guy,” Gerard Gallant said of Lindgren. “He’s just one of those guys that makes people around him better.”
- Igor Shesterkin picked up his second playoff win stopping 29 of 32
- Alexis Lafrenière added his second career playoff goal and his first multi-point game
- Filip Chytil registered his first NHL Playoff goal
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