Rangers vs. Penguins: Mika Zibanejad Ties Game Late and Wins It in Overtime
The New York Rangers followed up Monday night’s victory with another solid effort as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 4-3. While the word “tank” has been on the minds of a majority of the fanbase, the Rangers had other plans tonight. They struggled a slight bit during the opening few minutes of this game, but once they got going, they were skating circles around the Penguins by the third period.
This game was looking pretty bleak early in the second period where the Penguins rattled off two quick goals and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Bryan Rust opened the scoring with a wide open chance in the high slot and ripped a quick snap shot over the shoulder of Aleksandar Georgiev. Brady Skjei wound up making some contact with Georgiev as he skated through the crease, which contributed to the goal against.
Less than a minute later, it was Riley Sheahan deflecting Kris Letang’s point shot and suddenly the Rangers found themselves in a two goal hole. Despite the two goals against, the Rangers were still generating scoring chances and turned it up another level in the third period.
Chris Kreider finally got the Rangers on the board at the 8:42 mark of the third period with a power play goal at the top of the crease. Nearly six minutes later, Jesper Fast tied the game for the Rangers with a beautiful deflection in close and redirected the shot over Casey DeSmith’s shoulder. This was redemption for Fast who was robbed minutes prior on a golden opportunity off to the side of the net, but was ultimately robbed by DeSmith with a great acrobatic save.
Even with the Rangers controlling most of the play, the Penguins found a way to pull back in front with a wrap around goal coming from Carl Hagelin. Aleksandar Georgiev was just a second too late in getting his stick to the ice and Hagelin made him pay for his mistake with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. The Rangers wouldn’t quit though, and at the 16:43 mark Mika Zibanejad shoveled home a quick centering feed from Chris Kreider and tied the game on the power play.
Zibanejad wouldn’t just stop there either, as he eventually ended the game for the Rangers in overtime off of another assist from Chris Kreider. Zibanejad was able to catch DeSmith cheating off of his post and slipped the puck in on the short side to give the Rangers the 4-3 win in overtime. Following tonight’s impressive victory, the Rangers will head back out on the road where they will meet up with the St. Louis Blues on Saturday evening.