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Penguins Comeback Hits Post, Rangers Win 3-2

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Pittsbursgh Penguins game, lose to New York Rangers, 3-2

It was a rematch for second place in the Metro Division. Last Friday, the New York Rangers boat raced the Pittsburgh Penguins out of Madiso Square Garden by scoring a few goals in the first few minutes en route to a 5-1 win. The Penguins won the initial meeting on Feb. 26 in a goalie duel, 1-0.

On Tuesday night, the Penguins played rope-a-dope for 30 minutes and led 1-0 despite being outshot by a 2-1 margin. However, a pair of New York goals late in the second period and an early third period power-play goal were just enough.

Sidney Crosby (25) blasted a power-play slaps shot to pull the Pittsburgh Penguins to within 3-2 midway through the third period. But that was the end and the New York Rangers won 3-2 at PPG Paints Arena. New York has won two of the three meetings this season and are now one point ahead of the Penguins for second place in the Metro Division.

The Penguins’ furious comeback late in the third, included several heroic saves by skaters covering the cage. Evan Rodrigues hit the post in the final minute on what would gave been the tying goal.

The Penguins were outshot in the first period (9-5), but the territory battle may have benefitted them slightly. More importantly, the scoreboard did.

After some nice puck work at the top of the zone, Brian Boyle and Radim Zohorna went to the net. One of only two Penguins without a point in the 11-2 win over Detroit on Sunday, Brian Dumoulin wristed the puck towards the net. Boyle (9) deflected the shot past New York goalie Igor Shesterkin.

However, New York scored a pair of second-period goals and limited the Penguins to only five more shots.

Later in the second period, the Penguins suffered something akin to a defensive zone meltdown. Brian Dumoulin failed on a couple of chances to clear the zone or begin a breakout. Danton Heinen had a similar opportunity but his pass to nowhere was intercepted.

Dumoulin’s backhand clearing attempted fluttered high into the air but settled with New York center Mika Zibanejad and winger Frank Vatrano in the slot. Vatrano (15) wheeled around and in the same motion whipped the puck past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.

Late in the second, New York took advantage of a Penguins line change with a four-wide counter-attack. Defenseman Braden Schneider, 20, was the late trailer and had time to autograph the puck and lick clean the bowl of poutine. Schneider (2) picked the top blocker corner on Jarry.

Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues “led” the Penguins with two shots each after two periods.

The Penguins third period didn’t begin very well. Officials dished a roughing penalty to defenseman Mike Matheson at the end of the second for the obligatory bear hug and separation of an agitator from Sidney Crosby.

“I don’t really know what I did… respectfully, I disagree with the call,” said Matheson

On the resulting power play to begin the third, Chris Kreider (45) was in position for a carom off the back wall and shoveled it over Jarry’s pad for a 3-1 Rangers lead.

The Penguins had a pair of third period power plays but didn’t do much with it.

In the third period, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan juggled his lines. Bryan Rust rejoined Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on the top line. Kasperi Kapanen elevated to play with Malkin and Rickard Rakell, and Evan Rodrigues switched to third-line duty with Jeff Carter.

A later third period push after the line shuffles closed the Rangers shot advantage.

As fans filed out in drives, the Penguins final flurry of shots and chances in the final two minutes didn’t find the back of the net. They also dodged several empty net chances, as Evgeni Malkin and Rickard Rakell made saves in the crease.

Jarry stopped 23 of 26. Shesterkin stopped 22 of 24.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Dave Heyl
Dave Heyl
8 months ago

when your 4 th line is your best through 2 periods, that is not a formula for success. Another preview to the playoffs & how Pens defense will cause another 1 & done.

RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave Heyl

Defense wasn’t cutting it. 2-6-28 we’re getting full on tossed around again

So glad they didn’t want to trade anyone 🙄

RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago

Actually slightly encouraged by the late push. They didn’t play smart again and it cost them.

Don’t beat the vezina winner by passing up shots for extra passes and throwing weak wristers into triple coverage.

2nd and 4th line were the best…guess that’s a solid takeaway.

Last edited 8 months ago by RYAN
Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Impressed by how the Rangers addressed several issues before the trade deadline while the Pens stood pat for the most part. (Shouldn’t it have been the other way around?) They don’t give up much, and when they do, Shesterkin gives them a big edge in goal. Best bet for the Pens is to rest a few regulars down the stretch, slide to No. 4 in the division standings and face Carolina in round one. That’s not ideal, either, but it’s a slightly better matchup and their older guys will be more rested.

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul
RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

It’s a cap sport and the pens were against it…how are you not processing that? Rakell was a needed player and they were lucky to fit him…thar will work out.

But what did you want? Trade overpaid, useless pens for the exact right pieces from other teams?

Eddie Johnston is no longer a GM somewhere else…you do know that, right?

Paul
Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

The Bruins, Rangers, Lightning, Panthers, Avalanche and several other contenders made a slew of moves before the deadline. Excuses are for losers.

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul
RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

The pens had little room any nothing to trade. Their best “assets” to trade are Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust…

How’s that sound?

Stupidity is for losers

Paul
Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

That’s precisely why the front office should have made moves last offseason. It’s called vision. Besides, all we’ve heard from Fake News is that Rutherford was such a wonderful general manager and left the team in great position. So which is it?

RYAN
RYAN
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Rutherford struck lightning 2015-17…and was a complete 180 awful from then on. He left them in a bad way talent and cap wise.

dweth2
dweth2
8 months ago

I have to say the Pen have been out played by the Rangers, even in there 1-0 win. Ranger are really hard on the puck Pens never have time or space. Need to figure it out or it will be a one and done….

Uros
Uros
8 months ago

I don’t see much to worry about except the things I’ve mentioned before. I thought we didn’t really need scoring help, but D help. Also, it seems that this much usage and the team resting on his back has taken a toll on Jarry. I don’t see him looking good lately. I’m not whining ahead of time, but I think the guy needs some rest and head clearing before the playoffs. Let’s be honest, the big 3 are the reason this team is where it is. Once they go or get old it will be hell, but it’s all worth… Read more »