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Rangers vs. Penguins: Rangers Fall Short of Comeback in Pittsburgh

NHL: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers dropped their second straight outing against the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening by a final score of 4-2. New York struggled through the middle part of the game, but turned up the pressure late in the third period. Tristan Jarry played phenomenal and made three highlight reel saves late in the game to preserve the one-goal lead for Pittsburgh.

1st Period

Jack Johnson (1) - Julien Gauthier (4) & Chris Kreider (4) - 9:16

Just under the halfway mark of the first period, the Rangers opened the scoring with Jack Johnson’s first goal as a Ranger. Julien Gauthier did great work to drive the net, generate a shot on goal and followed up his own rebound. Gauthier was able to find Jack Johnson at the top of the left faceoff circle where he one-timed a shot towards Tristan Jarry. The shot wound up taking a strange bounce off the left of defenseman John Marino, and slipped in behind the goaltender.

Jake Guentzel (8) - Sidney Crosby (15) - 18:54

Pittsburgh was able to jump back into the game with a little over a minute remaining in the period as Jake Guentzel sniped home his eighth of the season. New York caught an unfortunate break as Ryan Lindgren’s stick failed him on the breakout attempt, and led to a quick transition play by the Penguins. Sidney Crosby was able to immediately find Jake Guentzel streaking down the left side of the ice, and Guentzel ripped a shot past Keith Kinkaid.

2nd Period

Teddy Blueger (4) - Brandon Tanev (6) & Brian Dumoulin (3) SHG - 2:40

Things went from bad to worse for the Rangers early in the second period as they surrendered a shorthanded goal at the 2:40 mark. Teddy Blueger was able to back down the Rangers’ defensemen and made a quick cut towards the middle of the ice. Keith Kinkaid actually got a good portion of the save as Blueger slid the puck to his backhand, but just couldn’t get all of it. The puck wound up sliding just over the goal line as K’Andre Miller attempted to clear the puck from the crease and Pittsburgh gained a 2-1 lead.

Kasperi Kapanen (7) - Evgeni Malkin (13) & Evan Rodrigues (2) - 19:40

Pittsburgh went to work late in the second period as they hemmed the Rangers in their own zone for nearly the entire final minute. Evgeni Malkin eventually found a lane as he swung behind the net and fed a ridiculous pass out front through two defenders. Kasperi Kapanen rotated into the shooting lane, received the pass and snapped a shot past Kinkaid all in one motion. It was a devastating goal for the Rangers to allow late in the the period, and found themselves down by a pair heading into the third.

3rd Period

Ryan Strome (9) - Pavel Buchnevich (13) & Adam Fox (13) PPG - 3:18

Thankfully for the Rangers, they got an early power play chance as Sidney Crosby was sent off for tripping down Brett Howden in the corner. Right off of the ensuing faceoff, Adam Fox and Pavel Buchnevich worked the puck over to Ryan Strome in the faceoff circle. Strome attempted to make a pass back to the middle of the ice, but the puck clipped off of John Marino’s skate. Tristan Jarry had already committed to the pass getting through and never got back as the puck slid past him on the short side.

Sidney Crosby (9) - Unassisted ENG - 19:27

New York had tremendous pressure late in the game as they pushed for the tying goal, but just couldn’t find a way to beat Tristan Jarry. Eventually the Penguins were able to force a clear and Sidney Crosby iced the game with an empty net goal at the 19:27 mark of the third period.

The Rangers struggles continued into Pittsburgh as they dropped their second straight game at PPG Paints Arena. Even though the Rangers had a tough middle frame, they made a great comeback bid in the third period. Pittsburgh was bailed out with three huge saves from the goaltender, and the Rangers were left going home empty handed.

Following their two-game set against the Penguins, the Rangers will head up north as they close out their six-game road trip against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.