New York Rangers claw back but fall to Penguins in overtime
The New York Rangers closed out a three-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. In the process, they picked up five out of a possible six points.
However, the team has just one regulation win in its last 12 games (5-5-2) and that came against the L.A. Kings on February 26.
“We haven’t played well,” Gerard Gallant said. “We admit to that, but we’re still winning hockey games, too. Tonight, we still got a point against a real good team over there. We’re battling hard. So we’ve got to be better. We know that. I think everybody in that room knows it. They got a good sign in the third period and hopefully in the next game we’ll play a full 60 minutes like that.”
New York Rangers lose on penalty in OT
The Rangers lost this game much like they started it; in the penalty box.
Kris Letang scored the Penguins second power play goal of the contest with a blast from the top of the slot past Jaroslav Halak to get the extra point. The win cut the Rangers third-place lead over the Pens from 7 to 6 points.
The matchup was also the first of three meetings between the two rivals that will take place over a span of seven days.
New York opened the first period committing a series of undisciplined penalties just 2:34 seconds apart. Rickard Rakell scored on the two-man advantage to give Pittsburgh an early lead making the Rangers pay for their carelessness.
Barclay Goodrow would knot things up a little over five minutes later converting on a series of strong plays by Jimmy Vesey. Tyler Motte registered the other assist.
“We got a lot better as the game went on,” Goodrow noted. “Obviously, never want to start the game by taking three penalties in the first five minutes, but I think to hold them to one goal there was good. I thought the third was our best period with chances to win regulation.”
In the second period, Jason Zucker’s volley from the point hit Mika Zibanejad’s skate and redirected a shot going wide over Halak and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
The Rangers held the line for the remainder of the contest and probably played one of their better games in recent memory looking more defensively responsible with the puck.
New York ramped up the physical play in the final frame and equalized the contest after a series of hits between Vincent Trocheck and Evgeni Malkin.
Chris Kreider, who earlier missed an easy tap-in on the power play, finished an odd-man rush set up by Trocheck. His snap shot from the point whizzed by Tristan Jarry at the 9:09 mark.
Halak was solid throughout the game making 32 saves but could not overcome another undisciplined penalty. This time it was Artemi Panarin, who struggled with turnovers throughout the day, coughing up a puck to Malkin and tripping him immediately afterwards.
The Rangers will now head home for five straight games beginning Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.