Coming off of a miraculous win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, the New York Rangers were absolutely demolished by the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period, and never really looked back putting up six on Henrik Lundqvist before he was yanked in the third period.
Zach Aston-Reeze (6) - Assists: Matt Cullen (5) - 6:29 2nd Period
After a pretty decent defensive period by the Rangers, the wheels completely fell off in the second period starting with a goal by Zach Aston-Reese. In his first game at Madison Square Garden, Aston-Reese was able to break coverage in the high slot, and Matt Cullen found him with a tape-to-tape pass. Aston-Reese shot the puck as he received it, and flipped the puck over Henrik Lundqvist.
Jake Guentzel (17) - Assists: Sidney Crosby (31) & Marcus Pettersson (8) - 11:11 2nd Period
Nearly five minutes later, the Penguins doubled up their lead coming off Jake Guentzel’s 17th goal of the season. The goal came off of a long shot from just inside the blue line, and Guentzel’s shot wound up deflecting off of Marc Staal’s stick as he was tying up a player in front of the net. Henrik Lundqvist was in position for the initial shot, but the deflection sent the puck in the opposite direction and gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead.
Kris Letang (9) - Unassisted - 12:20 2nd Period
A minute later, Kris Letang burned the Rangers yet again on a neutral zone turnover and sniped the puck over Lundqvist’s shoulder to make it 3-0. Pavel Buchnevich committed the turnover behind the red line after thinking he made more time than he did, and Letang quickly stripped the puck right off of his stick.
Ryan Strome (4) - Assists: Brady Skjei (10) & Adam McQuaid (3) - 12:46 2nd Period
After being under siege for several minutes, the Rangers finally got on the board with a deflection in front from by Ryan Strome. The goal was Strome’s third with the Rangers, and the assists went to Brady Skjei and Adam McQuaid. The deflection came in the high slot, and fooled Matt Murray as the puck slipped through his legs after bouncing off of the ice.
Dominik Simon (5) - Assists: Evgeni Malkin (29) & Patric Hornqvist (9) - 15:45 2nd Period
Despite a minor blip on the radar, the Penguins shrugged off the Rangers’ first goal and responded a short time later courtesy of Dominik Simon. Evgeni Malkin created the chance with a beautiful feed through the center of the ice and found Simon cutting to the net all alone.
Evgeni Malkin (13) - Assists: Patric Hornqvist (10) & Dominik Simon (10) - 1:03 3rd Period
After setting up the previous goal, Evgeni Malkin picked up a goal of his own just a minute into the third period on a partial breakaway. Malkin wound up being hauled down on his opportunity, and the puck somehow slipped under Henrik Lundqvist to give the Penguins a 5-1 lead. Henrik Lundqvist had a rough outing the entire night, and this was just another added to the list.
Pavel Buchnevich (7) - Assists: Frederik Claesson (2) & Kevin Shattenkirk (9) - 1:22 3rd Period
Just 19 seconds later, Pavel Buchnevich converted for the Rangers off of a setup from Frederik Claesson behind the Penguins net. Claesson was able to shovel a pass out from the right side of the net, and found Buchnevich cutting to the post with a tape-to-tape pass. Buchnevich quickly flipped the puck over Matt Murray to bring the Rangers back within three goals.
Tanner Pearson (5) - Assists: Kris Letang (26) & Jake Guentzel (19) - 4:40 3rd Period
Henrik Lundqvist’s night would come to an end just 4:40 into the third period after Tanner Pearson sniped a puck over Lundqvist’s left shoulder. The shot came from right above the left faceoff circle, and sailed into the top right corner of the net uncontested. Alexandar Georgiev came in for the remainder of the third period in relief of Henrik Lundqvist.
Sidney Crosby (19) - Unassisted - 13:56 3rd Period
Sidney Crosby closed out the scoring for the Penguins with a little over six minutes remaining in regulation. He was able to collect a loose puck in the high slot, and shot back against the grain on Georgiev as he came across the ice.
Following tonight’s miserable loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers will head out on the road and be back in action on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche.