Rangers roar back only to blow it to the Penguins late
The Pittsburgh Penguins took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 7-4 win over the New York Rangers.
It was an awful start for the Blueshirts that was met with a such a dominant second period that you couldn’t see them losing.
However, the Penguins penalty kill came up big all game as scored a late third period goal and then iced it with two empty-netters.
Rangers vs Penguins: Shesterkin stunned
What would a Rangers and Penguins playoff game be without a little controversy.
Brock McGinn would bank one in off Patrik Nemeth and Igor Shesterkin just 1:57 into the game. The referee on the ice called it no-goal, but a video review reversed it. The ruling said that the puck was going in before the net came off the moorings.
Kaapo Kakko would tie the game off a beautiful backhand feed from Alexis Lafrenière for his first NHL Playoff goal. All three members of the Kid Line picked up a point on the equalizer.
The Penguins would respond with three straight goals, two on the power play, to chase Shesterkin from the net after allowing 4 goals on 15 shots.
Rangers rally in the second period
Alexandar Georgiev led the team on the ice for the second stanza as Gerard Gallant was looking to send a message to his team.
The Blueshirts exploded for three goals in an offensive barrage that saw them outshoot the Pens 17-7.
First it was Frank Vatrano converting a nice cross-ice feed from Chris Kreider at the 6:51 mark.
Just 67 seconds later, Artemi Panarin beat Louis Domingue shortside to cut the lead to 4-3.
The tying goal came shorthanded as Andrew Copp followed a great effort by Kevin Rooney, who was taken down on the play. Kris Letang knocked the net off the pegs, but the referee still ruled it a good goal.
“We took a look in the mirror knowing we’ve got to play a lot better and we executed in the second [period],” Rooney said. “We’ve been a resilient team all year and it really starts with our leadership. They’ve done a tremendous job of telling us it’s not over.”
Rangers blow it
New York had ample opportunity to win this contest but failed on three consecutive power plays.
“Unfortunate. Our power play has been good and all we wanted an opportunity,” Ryan Strome said. “We just couldn’t get one.”
With under 10 minutes in the third, Danton Heinen beat Georgiev, who was not set after another awful turnover by Nemeth. The Penguins scored two empty net goals by Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter.
“I don’t think we’re playing together,” Kreider said. “There’s been moments over the year that we’ve put ourselves in this position like that and clawed back but it’s not something you can do in the playoffs. We have to rectify that quickly.”
- Alexis Lafrenière recorded and assist for his first career playoff point.
- Kaapo Kakko picked up his first career playoff goal and point.
- Filip Chytil registered an assist for his first career playoff point.
- Kevin Rooney notched his first career playoff point with a shorthanded assist.
Tomorrow (Sunday, May 8): Practice at UPMC Sports Lemieux Complex (1:00 PM ET)
Next Game: Monday, May 9 at Pittsburgh Penguins – Game 4 (7:00 PM ET – TV: MSG, ESPN)
*Schedule subject to change
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