The Pittsburgh Penguins again trailed at the start of the third period. For the fourth straight game, the Penguins were in comeback mode. In the previous three, the Penguins needed one overtime winner and two shootouts to win three in a row. This time, Jake Guentzel (2) whistled a one-timer through New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin with 91 seconds remaining, and the Penguins beat New York for their fourth in a row, 3-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday night.
The new cardiac kids don’t like to make things easy. They were outshot 11-4 in the third period.
Tristan Jarry stopped 23 of 25 for his second win.
Later in the first period, New York cracked the scoreboard first. After Evgeni Malkin and John Marino were on the wrong end of the puck battle, Colin Blackwell (1) reached beyond Cody Ceci near the net and deflected Adam Fox’s soft wrister.
Ceci led all Penguins with 7:57 of ice tie in the first period. The Penguins had six shots, only Sidney Crosby had two.
The Penguins mounted a sustained attack in the second period, but things changed even midway through the second period. Evan Rodrigues lined up Filip Chytil with a solid check at the Penguins blue line, just as the linesmen whistled offsides.
Rodrigues slowly got up and skated directly off the ice to the Penguins’ room. Chytil stayed down for an extended time and received treatment on the bench.
Sullivan swapped the Penguins lines even further. Bryan Rust, who had 11 shots on Friday night in the Penguins 4-3 win, assumed the RW with Crosby and Guentzel. Kasperi Kapanen lept to the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Jason Zucker.
Moments after the changes, Crosby and Rust hooked up for a breakaway goal. The pair created a turnover and Rust broke for a breakaway, fed by Crosby. Rust (2) slipped it five-hole through New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin.
It was Rust’s second breakaway of the game. Rust also hit the post with just over three minutes remaining.
“The puck was kind of wobbling there. It hit the defenseman…,” Rust said. “I didn’t really have to yell to Sid or anything.”
However, the Penguins could not avoid more defensive mistakes.
Late in the period, defenseman John Marino and Evgeni Malkin both covered Ryan Strome on the mid-wall. However, Strome beat Marino to the Penguins net and slipped a puck through a mass of bodies and a 2-1 lead.
The Penguins again rallied in the third period, and for the second straight game, New York gifted Jared McCann a softie. After Brandon Tanev rode roughshod into the corner to create a loose puck, McCann (2) snapped it to the net.
Shesterkin was caught napping and it was a tie game for most of the third period. Shesterkin stopped 16 of 19 shots.
The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Boston on Tuesday.