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PHN Postgame: Penguins Losing Special Teams Battle, Series Tied 1-1

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NEW YORK  — The Pittsburgh Penguins were close to tying the game in the third period, but a sparking Igor Shesterkin save on Evgeni Malkin provided enough time for the New York Rangers to get a lucky bounce off Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson. The bounce was the Rangers’ fourth goal and the nail in the Penguins’ coffin.

On Thursday night, New York beat the Penguins 5-2 at Madison Square Garden.

The Round One series is tied 1-1.

Dan Kingerski and Dave Molinari broke down the Game 2 effort and the overarching themes of the series. The Penguins’ special teams are short against the Rangers, both on the power play and penalty kill.

“Five on five, I thought we were pretty good for the most part. Listen, we’re playing a real good opponent. They’re a good team, too. When we were in our end zone, I thought we defended hard. We had some looks on the offensive zone,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “…I think the one area where we need to improve and get better is on the special teams on both sides. I think we’ve got to do a better job there.”

The Rangers had nine power-play shots and one goal in nearly six minutes of power-play time. They also generated a lot of momentum.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had 41 shots on goal but just three over two power plays and 38 shots at even strength. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel led all players with six shots each. Linemate Bryan Rust had five, too.

The series and the PHN crew head back to Pittsburgh for practice Friday and Game 3 on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena.

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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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Frank
Frank
7 months ago

I understand the value of analysis. And it is OK as far as it goes. But the simple truth is if ANY team thinks they can compete with the Rangers over a series with a 3rd string goaltender . . . two top six forwards out, one top pairing defenseman not playing it is nothing short of delusional. It would be like trying to hold girders together with thumbscrews instead of bolts and then be surprised that it did not hold up for long. And it does not sound like getting healthy any time soon is very likely . .… Read more »

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Bring out the golf clubs let’s get real injuries aside did anyone think this was just a marginal playoff team anyway hopefully this will bring some changes it was a nice run Go Pens

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