For the third time this week, the Rangers and Penguins faced off against each other. The Penguins were down three starting defenders in Petry, Ruuta, and Kulikov, and gosh wouldn’t you know it, they had some trouble defending.
The Rangers got caved at five-on-five in the first period, but Igor Shesterkin remained in top form, and the Rangers made the most of the chances they had.
Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring with his 36th goal of the year. The Penguins turned the puck over at their blue line, and a few passes later, Zibanejad tossed a backhander past Jarry on a broken play.
Mika March keeps on rolling, with his 36th of the szn pic.twitter.com/OO8o8HSWPN— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 19, 2023
Later, Evgeni Malkin hit Braden Schneider from behind in the corner, and a scrum ensued. Makin and Ben Harpur ended up in the box, but Malkin received four minutes to give the Rangers a powerplay. Artemiy Panarin made his countryman pay, as he scored on a wrister from the circle set up by Adam Fox.
Power play Bread = the best kind. pic.twitter.com/3UR1bDKYQV— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 19, 2023
Rather than resting on their laurels, the Rangers went for the throat and added three goals in the first ten minutes. Vladimir Tarasenko netted the first. After Kris Letang failed to score driving the net, the Rangers quickly transitioned and created a three-on-one. Tarasenko and Zibanejad played pitch-and-catch before the winger showed off that shot he’s known for.
Tarasenko converts on a 3-on-1, Zibanejad earns his second primary point of the game pic.twitter.com/X3zwebfuXs— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 19, 2023
After another scrum, the Rangers found themselves shorthanded, but handily killed of the penalty. The broke out as Vincent Trocheck emerged from the box, leading to a four-on-two. Both defenders ended up on Patrick Kane, who backed handed the puck across the royal road to a wide-open Chris Kreider. After conceding four goals in the first half of the game, Jarry was pulled, as you might imagine.
pic.twitter.com/LG2tEtv8DI— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 19, 2023
Jacob Trouba scored the third. He tossed the puck at Casey DeSmith from a sharp angle, and it rolled over him and in.
SHOOT YOUR SHOT. pic.twitter.com/ZwXz59rOBe— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 19, 2023
Again, all that occurred in the first half of the period. They notched one more in the second half for good measure. It was Panarin again, finishing a pass from Kane.
That Kaner-Breadman connection. pic.twitter.com/n7ceQT1Uo3— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 19, 2023
Rolling four lines, Barclay Goodrow taking two penalties on the powerplay, Igor playing every single puck—the third period was just coastin’.
Igor Shesterkin pic.twitter.com/OcVmEftdrc— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 19, 2023
. . .
The Penguins played really well in the first, but the Rangers took advantage full advantage of a couple lapses (and subpar goaltending) and never looked back. What I loved about this win is that the Rangers didn’t ease up until the game was well out of reach. It’s also exciting to see Igor play so well and with so much confidence. He will be the x-factor for this team in the playoffs. The PK been hot lately too, which is especially encouraging because they’ve done it without arguably their best PK defender in Ryan Lindgren.
The Rangers will be right back at it tomorrow when they host former-captain Ryan McDonagh and the Nashville Predators. I’m sure they’re all super happy about having a back-to-back on St. Paddy’s Day weekend.