The New York Rangers officially concluded their 2018-2019 season this evening, and they went out with an overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both teams traded goals in the third period, and Ryan Strome ended the game for the Rangers at the 2:09 mark of overtime.
Sidney Crosby (35) - Jake Guentzel (36) & Jared McCann (160 - 6:36 1st Period
The Penguins struck early on in this game as Sidney Crosby picked up his 35th goal of the season. Jared McCann created the entire sequence with a great outlet pass to Sidney Crosby, who broke in a on 2-on-1 with Jake Gunetzel. The two players traded passes before Guentzel found Crosby cutting to the back post, and gave Pittsburgh the early 1-0 lead.
Brendan Smith (4) - Unassisted - 12:49 1st Period
Later on in the first period, the Rangers jumped right back into the game as Brendan Smith broke in all alone. Smith made a great read in the neutral zone to cutoff an outlet pass, and transitioned the other way on a partial breakaway. Smith was able to get off a quick shot before the defender closed it on him, and beat Matt Murray over the right shoulder.
Nick Bjugstad (14) - Patric Hornqvist (19) & Marcus Pettersson (23) - 2:28 3rd Period
Pittsburgh turned up the pressure early in the third period, and were rewarded with the go-ahead goal at the 2:28 mark. Marcus Pettersson’s point shot gave Alexandar Georgiev some trouble, and the rebound landed behind him in the crease. Nick Bjugstad jumped on the loose puck, and shoveled home the rebound to give the Penguins the 2-1 lead.
Brady Skjei (8) - Kevin Shattenkirk (26) - 12:34 3rd Period
Brady Skjei made things interesting a little past the halfway point of the third period, as he brought the Rangers even once again. Kevin Shattenkirk made a great play to create an odd-man rush into the offensive zone, and found Skjei trailing up high. Brady Skjei was able to collect the lost puck, hesitated for a second, and ripped a heavy wrist shot past Matt Murray.
3-2 Rangers - SHG
Vladislav Namestnikov (11) - Neal Pionk (20) - 13:50 3rd Period
A little over a minute later, while killing a penalty, the Rangers came all the way back and took the lead at the 13:50 mark. Neal Pionk created the scoring opportunity with a quick poke check in the neutral zone, which sent Vladislav Namestnikov in on a breakaway. Namestnikov was able to out-race the defenders, and tucked the puck under Matt Murray to make it a 3-2 game.
Jake Guentzel (40) - Sidney Crosby (65) & Justin Schultz (13) - 17:25 3rd Period
With the Penguins needing at least a point to secure third place, they continued to press in search of the tying goal. They eventually found their chance with under three minutes to play as Jake Guentzel poked him his 40th goal of the season. Alexandar Georgiev was unable to locate the puck in a net-front scramble, and Guentzel tapped home the loose puck.
4-3 Rangers - OT
Ryan Strome (19) - Vladislav Namestnikov (20) - 2:09 Overtime
The Rangers made pretty quick work of the Penguins in overtime, and Ryan Stromed tallied one final goal to close out the season. He was able to come into the zone 1-on-3, get into a shooting position, and sniped the puck past Matt Murray on the short side.
With the Rangers closing out their season this evening, all attention turns towards the Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. As it stands right now (depending on the outcome of the Edmonton game), the Rangers sit in 25th with the seventh best odds. They have a 20.4% chance at a top-3 pick, and a 6.5% chance at landing the first overall selection. Assuming Edmonton wins, those odds will improve to 23.3% (Top-3) and 7.5% (1st Overall).