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Rangers vs Penguins: Kaapo Kakko’s Overtime Winner Defeats Penguins 3-2

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Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

After losing a high scoring battle with the Florida Panthers on Sunday afternoon, the New York Rangers rebounded this evening with a massive 3-2 win in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kaapo Kakko and Adam Fox stole the spotlight tonight as they both registered multi-point games and connected on the overtime winning goal. Alexandar Georgiev was spectacular in the crease for the Rangers again, and turned away 30 of the 32 shots he faced.

1st Period

Kaapo Kakko (5) - Brendan Lemieux (5) & Tony DeAngelo (9) - 6:42 1st Period

The Rangers were able to jump out to an early lead after controlling the play during the opening minutes, and Kaapo Kakko was rewarded with his fifth of the season. Brendan Lemieux created the entire scoring chance by stripping the puck and quickly sending an outlet pass right up the middle of the ice to Kakko. Kakko caught the puck in stride, broke in all alone on Matt Murray, and slipped the puck by on a clean move to the backhand.

Adam Fox (3) - Artemiy Panarin (11) & Filip Chytil (1) - 19:49 1st Period

After an incredible first period, the Rangers capped off their solid play with one final goal with seconds remaining in the period. Artemiy Panarin setup Adam Fox on the far side of the ice with a crisp cross-ice pass, and put the puck right on Fox’s stick. Adam Fox hesitated for a second, saw space up high and sniped a shot past Matt Murray to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

2nd Period

Justin Schultz (2) - Evgeni Malkin (5) - Marcus Pettersson (5) - 1:13 2nd Period

As good as the Rangers played during the first period, they were caught off guard early in the second period and got burned. Similar to the Rangers’ second goal, Evgeni Malkin found Justin Schultz on the far side of the ice, and that opened up plenty of space for a shot on goal. Schultz wound up driving to the net, and absolutely torched Alexsandar Georgiev with a shot just under the crossbar.

Jared McCann (6) - Dominik Simon (8) - 12:33 2nd Period

The Penguins have been known to erase multiple goal deficits and they did it yet again just past the halfway mark of the second period. Pittsburgh also broken an extended goal-less drought on the power play as Jared McCann kicked the puck to his stick after an errant pass and ripped a shot over Georgiev’s glove hand.

3rd Period

No scoring

Overtime

Kaapo Kakko (6) - Adam Fox (5) - 2:24 Overtime

The overtime period started out a bit frantic for the Rangers as Artemiy Panarin, Chris Kreider and Tony DeAngelo were caught out on an extended shift that lasted nearly two full minutes. After finally getting a line change and puck possession, the Rangers switched lines as Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko jumped over the boards. Almost immediately after, Adam Fox carried the puck up ice after a great defensive play and led the Rangers into the offensive zone on a 3-on-2 rush.

Fox did an excellent job of selling both the pass to the far side and the shot with a couple of head fakes before sliding the puck over to Kaapo Kakko wide open on the left post. All Kakko had to do was deflect the puck into the empty and he picked up his sixth goal of the season.

Despite giving up a two-goal lead in the second period, the Rangers’ rookies connected for a beautiful overtime goal to save two points. Following tonight’s impressive victory over Pittsburgh, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day before returning to action on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.