The New York Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in dominating fashion tonight as they put eight goals on the board in route to an 8-4 victory. Eight different Rangers scored in the game, including goals from both Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko. Igor Shesterkin put together a 41- save performance this evening, but had plenty of help from his offense tonight as they lit up the Penguins at the other end of the ice.
Colin Blackwell (10) - Artemiy Panarin (26) & Jacob Trouba (8) - 1:35
Following a two day rest, the Rangers came out flying early on in the first period and we were rewarded with an early goal. Colin Blackwell, who was bumped back into the top-six for tonight’s contest, was able to split two defensemen after entering the offensive zone. The attempted pass across by Blackwell wound up deflecting off of Mike Matheson’s skate and slipped under Tristian Jarry to make it a 1-0 game.
Mika Zibanejad (13) - Pavel Buchnevich (19) - 7:28
Just a little under six minutes after opening the scoring, the Rangers were able to double up their lead courtesy of Mika Zibanejad. Pavel Buchnevich created the entire sequence by beating Sidney Crosby on a 1-on-1 chance at the blue line, and drove the puck to the front of the net. Mika Zibanejad trailed the play looking for a rebound, and Tristian Jarry gave him just that by kicking the puck into the high slot. Zibanejad was able to get a handle of the loose puck, and beat the goaltender through the legs to give New York a quick 2-0 lead.
Artemiy Panarin (12) - Adam Fox (30) & Chris Kreider (9) PPG - 9:58
Despite already holding a two-goal lead, the Rangers continue to roll as they picked up their first power play opportunity of the evening. Under a minute into the man-advantage, the Rangers were able to work the puck into scoring position and capitalized. Adam Fox picked up the primary assist after he found Artemiy Panarin in the left faceoff circle, and extended his point streak to 11 games. Panarin finished off the pass with an absolute snipe and smoked the puck past Tristian Jarry’s right shoulder.
Jared McCann (10) - Kris Letang (23) & Sidney Crosby (29) PPG - 10:38
Pittsburgh finally stopped the bleeding just past the halfway mark of the first period as Jared McCann scored his 10th goal of the season. The goal came just six seconds into the power play chance as McCann’s shot somehow found its way through the traffic in front. Igor Shesterkin never saw the puck as it remained on the ice the entire time, and the Penguins cut the Rangers’ lead to 3-1.
Ryan Strome (12) - Artemiy Panarin (27) & Adam Fox (31) PPG - 19:42
The Rangers were handed another power play opportunity late in the period, and they capitalized yet again to restore their three-goal lead. The first power play unit continued to work the puck around well, and in turn, kept the Penguins constantly moving in their own zone. Artemiy Panarin was able to open up a scoring chance by making a cross-ice feed over to Ryan Strome in the opposite faceoff circle. Strome elected for a quick shot with Chris Kreider screening at the top of the crease, and the shot beat Tristian Jarry clean.
Alexis Lafrenière (6) - Filip Chytil (5) & Kaapo Kakko (3) - 12:20
The Rangers’ kid line of Alexis Lafrenière, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko received plenty of playing time during the second period, and they finally got on the scoreboard. Kaapo Kakko started the play with a strong forecheck below the goal line and worked the puck over to Filip Chytil for a quick shot. Alexis Lafrenière was able to jump on the loose puck, side step around the goaltender, and tucked the puck in as he reached out from behind the net. Two Penguins wound up putting the puck in their own net as they attempted to clear, and New York took a commanding 5-1 lead in this game.
Mike Matheson (4) - Colton Sceviour (3) & Mark Jankowski (5) - 12:35
Right off of the ensuing faceoff, Pittsburgh was able to march right back down the ice and made up for their mistakes just 15 seconds prior. Mike Matheson was able to march the puck into the offensive zone, and ripped a heavy snap shot towards Igor Shesterkin. The puck appeared to slightly deflect off of Jacob Trouba’s stick as it came in on goal, and beat Shesterkin on the glove side.
Kaapo Kakko (6) - Jacob Trouba (9) & Colin Blackwell (5) PPG - 6:10
Six minutes into the third period, the Rangers went to work on their third power play opportunity and converted yet again. The second unit came onto the ice with under a minute remaining in the man-advantage, and scored almost immediately. Jacob Trouba’s point shot wound up taking a double deflection off of a defenseman and Kaapo Kakko’s stick in front before it crossed the goal line.
Jake Guentzel (17) - Mike Matheson (7) & Kris Letang (24) - 8:03
A little under two minutes later, the Penguins responded once again on Jake Guentzel’s 17th goal of the season. The Rangers got caught out on an extended shift after Pittsburgh pinned them in their own zone, and overextended to the left side of the ice. Jake Guentzel was able to slip into open space above the hashmarks and buried the light tap pass from Mike Matheson.
Adam Fox (5) - Mika Zibanejad (17) & Ryan Strome (24) SHG - 10:22
Despite the Rangers easing up on their coverage in the defensive zone, the offense continued to roll as they added their seventh goal of the night. Mika Zibanejad was able to chase down Mike Matheson on the penalty kill, and made a great play to strip the puck cleanly. After fighting off the check, Zibanejad found Adam Fox cutting through the middle of the uncovered and Fox ripped a puck under the crossbar to make it a 7-3 game.
Pavel Buchnevich (15) - Filip Chytil (6) & Artemiy Panarin (28) - 10:41
Pavel Buchnevich was feeling a little left out after failing to register a goal, and finally had his chance just 19 seconds after Adam Fox’s tally. Both Artemiy Panarin and Filip Chytil made excellent passes to spread out the Penguins entering the zone. Buchnevich was able to slip the coverage driving to the front of the net, and Filip Chytil found him with a crisp pass from the far side of the ice. Buchnevich was able to tap the puck under Casey DeSmith as he sprawled over and the Rangers jumped out to an 8-3 lead.
Brian Dumoulin (1) - Radim Zohorna (1) & Mark Jankowski (6) - 18:36
With under two minutes remaining in the game, the Penguins were able to add one final marker on the board as Brian Dumoulin picked up his first goal of the year. Radim Zohorna wound up being taken down by Pavel Buchnevich at the blue line, but stuck with the puck to keep the play alive. Zohorna found Brian Dumoulin cutting to the net on the far side and he tapped home the fourth goal for Pittsburgh.
The Rangers’ offense was on another level tonight once again, and they were able to outscore the Penguins by a wide margin. New York got some contributions from the kids as Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière both added goals, which should give them some confidence moving forward. Igor Shesterkin was phenomenal once again and had a 41-save effort despite being overshadowed by the offensive explosion.
Following tonight’s dominating performance on home ice, the Rangers will have a quick one-day layoff before doing it all again on Thursday night.