Rangers vs Penguins: Pittsburgh Scores Five Unanswered to Top Rangers at MSG
The New York Rangers fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening after they allowed five unanswered goals, and were defeated 5-2 in regulation time. The Rangers originally led in this game 2-0, but a late first period goal by Nick Bjugstad changed the momentum for Pittsburgh.
Brendan Lemieux (12) - Pavel Buchnevich (15) & Mika Zibanejad (40) - 8:25 1st Period
The Rangers struck early in this game and took a 1-0 lead at the 8:25 mark with Brendan Lemieux picking up his 12th of the season. Lemieux was able to cap off a beautiful passing play between Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich, and rifled a wrist shot past Matt Murray on the far side.
Vinni Lettieri (1) - Tony DeAngelo (24) & Filip Chytil (12) - 15:15 1st Period
Shortly after Lemieux’s opening goal, the Rangers added an insurance marker as Vinni Lettieri picked up his first goal of the season for New York. Tony DeAngelo setup the power play goal with a crisp cross-ice feed over to Letteri, who wired a one-timer and beat Matt Murray clean on the short side.
Nick Bjugstad (12) - Marcus Pettersson (21) & Dominik Simon (19) - 15:41 1st Period
A little under 30 seconds later, the Penguins came right back down the ice and brought themselves back within a goal. Nick Bjugstad was able to cash in an errant rebound given up Alexandar Georgiev, and beat the goaltender just under the arm. That goal brought the Penguins back to life heading into the intermission, and they really never looked back from that point on.
Justin Schultz (2) - Sidney Crosby (61) & Phil Kessel (52) - 1:01 2nd Period
With the Penguins carrying over their momentum from the first period, they were able to tie the game just a minute into the middle frame. Justin Schultz picked up the goal on the power play for Pittsburgh after one-timing a pass from Sidney Crosby. Neal Pionk wound up being caught in front of Georgiev on the pass out to Schultz, and that appeared to disrupt his vision just enough on the shot.
Matt Cullen (6) - Garrett Wilson (6) - 7:17 2nd Period
Nearly six minutes later, the Penguins completed their comeback and took a 3-2 lead courtesy of Matt Cullen. Cullen initially looked off his shot after he curled out from the corner, and that slight fake was enough to pull Alexandar Georgiev off of his post just enough. Cullen then immediately fired a shot over Georgiev’s shoulder before he was able to react, and gave the Penguins their first lead of the evening.
Teddy Blueger (5) - Bryan Rust (17) & Marcus Pettersson (22) - 13:12 2nd Period
The Rangers were still struggling to get their game back on track following three straight goals, and they continued to free fall later on in the period. New York had a chance to get back into the game with a power play opportunity, but it wound up working against them as they gave up a short handed goal. Teddy Blueger was able to out-work the Rangers behind their own net, and he slammed home a wraparound attempt from the left side. Georgiev was unable to get back to his post. and the Penguins took a 4-2 lead.
Teddy Blueger (6) - Jared McCann (15) & Phil Kessel (53) - 7:38 3rd Period
Teddy Blueger continued to haunt the Rangers in the third period as he picked up his second goal of the night, and iced the game for the Penguins. A misplayed puck by Alexandar Georgiev lead to rebound in the high slot, and the puck deflected off of Blueger’s skate as he flew by the crease. That led to the puck flipped back on net, and over Georgiev to close out the scoring for Pittsburgh.
Following tonight’s rough loss to Pittsburgh, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before returning to action on Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins.