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Rangers vs Penguins: OT Thriller Pushes Blueshirts on to the Second Round

Matteau, Stepan...and Panarin. Blueshirts win it with a OT power play goal by the Breadman, himself.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Square Garden. Game seven. What else is there to say?

Just before game time, we were made aware that Penguins captan, Sidney Crosby, would play after being a scratch from game six. Additionally, Tristan Jarry would make his 2022 playoff debut in net for the Penguins. Some saw this as a bad thing but some tried to chalk up that this is a lot of pressure to come into a game seven having not played any of the series previously, coming off of an injury.

In a ‘do or die’ situation for the Rangers for the fourth game in a row...they did.

1st Period

MSG was absolutely rocking, the ‘Let’s Go Rangers’ chants with crescendos of ‘Jarry’ chants as well, a jab at the Pittsburgh crowd undoubtably, both teams started the period on a fast pace.

After some heart-stopping saves by Shesterkin, the Rangers struck first.

NYR: Chris Kreider (5) - Mika Zibanejad (7) & Braden Schneider (3) - 7:36

Kreider got his fifth goal of the series after a great defensive plays by Chytil, and Shesterkin, with the help of Zibanejad flying through the zone on a 2-on-1.

After this, the Rangers took the first penalty of the game, Panarin for slashing. Not only did they kill the penalty but had a few scoring chances while shorthanded which seemed like a good sign. The Penguins had one shot ring off the post

PIT: PP Danton Heinen (2) - Jeff Carter (1) & Evan Rodrigues (2) - 18:51

After a slew of penalties and scrappiness on both sides, a huge battle in front of the net resulted in Danton Heinen getting the puck passed Igor and the goal line for a brief moment before Adam Fox swatted it away. Play continued despite the Pittsburgh players thinking the puck went in.

Just seconds later, play was stopped as a review indicated the puck did go in and they had a goal.

The period ended soon after, with not much to show for it except for some mishap penalties for the Rangers and eight shots on goal.

2nd Period

The Penguins got the first penalty of the period with an interference call, giving the Rangers a big opportunity on the power play but they weren’t able to do anything with it despite a ton of shots.

The Rangers dominated possession for most of the first half of the period keeping it in the Pittsburgh zone for most if it but nothing to show for it. The Rangers took a penalty after that giving the Pens an opportunity that Igor tried his best to not let them capitalize on. Unfortunately for him, it did not work.

PIT: PP Jake Guentzel (8) - Bryan Rust (6) & Sidney Crosby (8)- 10:18

In front of the net, Guentzel scored on what was called a goal on the ice before being reviewed for a high stick. After a lengthy wait, the call on the ice stood and the Penguins took a 2-1 lead.

NYR: K’Andre Miller (1) - Andrew Copp (2) & Ryan Strome (5) - 11:23

Quickly after, K’Andre Miller responded with his first career playoff goal to tie the game up at 2 again, not letting the goal review burn them out in the slightest.

PIT: Evan Rodrigues (3) - 17:24

The Rangers got another power play opportunity but instead of scoring, ended up giving up a goal one second after the power play ended to Rodrigues who had a breakaway after a bad turnover by Filip Chytil.

This is how the period would end, the Rangers looking to come from behind yet again.

3rd Period

The period began and flew by quickly at first. No penalties or much stoppage time at all in the first ten minutes as the Penguins racked up more shots on goal and the Rangers tried to keep up.

Panarin took another high sticking call but soon after Jeff Carter had an egregious trip in front of the net giving the Rangers some power play time. Still, the scored remained 3-2 with not much shooting done.

NYR: Mika Zibanejad (4) - Andrew Copp (3) - 14:15

With under six minutes to go after heavy possession in the Penguins zone, Mika puts one in with no hesitation over the shoulder of Tristan Jarry and the MSG crowd went wild.

I was not in attendance to verify, but I can confirm that no one in the Garden sat down after that moment. The eruption of noise from the crowd and the level of play from the Blueshirts finally matched up in the last six minutes. Unfortunately, it didn’t amount to anything but another chance to play overtime hockey at MSG.

1st OT Period

Just three minutes into the overtime period, a few good chances a piece, the Rangers got a power play on a holding call to Brock McGinn as K’Andre Miller had a mini-breakaway chance. After a rare timeout taken by the Rangers, they went to work and kept the puck in the Penguins zone the entire time.

PIT: Artemi Panarin (3) - Kasperi Kapanen (3) & Marcus Pettersson (2) - 14:12

Every second seemed to go by in slow motion as they cycled the puck around, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Artemi Panarin, who had been so quiet this series that some speculated an injury, made the shot heard ‘round the Garden. And just like that, the memory of the game one is gone.

The Rangers won. At Madison Square Garden. On the power play. In over time.

The Rangers came from behind in every elimination game they won, from down 3-1 in the series. ‘No quit in NY’? How about Pittsburgh? Or Carolina? Tampa? Let’s find out...