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.