Rangers vs Penguins: Rangers Allow Three in the Third And Fall to Penguins 6-5

After putting up six goals on the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, the New York Rangers came out today and fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a final score of 6-5. Despite losing the game, the Rangers stuck with it the entire way, and added two goals in the third period to bring themselves within a goal. Alexandar Georgiev got the nod in goal once again today, and turned away 28 of the 33 shots he faced this afternoon.

1-0 Penguins
Kris Letang (14) - Sidney Crosby (45) - 16:11 1st Period

The first goal in this game came off of a fortunate bounce in front of the net, and Kris Letang picked up his 14th goal of the season. After collecting the puck off of the faceoff, Letang rotated down to the goal line and tossed an intended pass out front. The puck wound up deflecting in off of Kevin Shattenkirk’s skate to make it a 1-0 game for the Penguins.

1-1 Tie - PPG
Mats Zuccarello (10) - Kevin Hayes (28) & Kevin Shattenkirk (15) - 19:20 1st Period

Before heading into the intermission, the Rangers were able to jump right back into the game and picked up their first goal. Much like the Penguins first goal, the Rangers caught a bit of a break as Mats Zuccarello’s cross-ice feed took a deflection off of Teddy Blueger’s stick and in behind Casey DeSmith.

2-1 Penguins - PPG
Marcus Pettersson (2) - Nick Bjugstad (10) & Justin Schultz (6) - 11:41 2nd Period

Unfortunately, the Penguins would add on two consecutive goals midway through the second period, and were able to take a 3-1 lead. The first goal came from Marcus Pettersson on the power play as Nick Bjugstad set him up with a beautiful pass for the one-timer. Alexandar Georgiev was unable to slide over to his left post in time, and Pettersson gave the Pens a 2-1 lead.

3-1 Penguins
Brian Dumoulin (2) - Sidney Crosby (46) & Marcus Pettersson (16) - 14:09 2nd Period

A little over two minutes after Pettersson’s goal, the Penguins doubled up their lead with yet another goal from a defenseman. This time around, Brian Dumoulin was able to sneak in from the blue line undetected, and ripped home a pass from Sidney Crosby to put the Rangers down by a pair of a goals.

3-2 Penguins
Mats Zuccarello (11) - Mika Zibanejad (32) & Chris Kreider (20) - 14:35 2nd Period

The Rangers were able to strike right back under 30 seconds later with Mats Zucarello’s second goal of the afternoon. After Casey DeSmith robbed Mika Zibanejad off to the left of the net, Mats Zuccarello located the loose puck on the goal line and tapped it home.

3-3 Tie
Ryan Strome (8) - Unassisted - 17:45 2nd Period

Following Zuccarello’s goal, the Rangers kept up the pressure in the offensive zone and eventually tied the game before the end of the second period. Ryan Strome was able to shovel a shot past Casey DeSmith after finding a loose puck sitting in the high slot. Patric Hornqvist was unable to get enough on the clearing attempt, and Strome’s goal brought the Rangers back to a 3-3 tie.

4-3 Penguins
Kris Letang (15) - Sidney Crosby (47) & Jake Guentzel (26) - 4:36 3rd Period

However, the Penguins would come out absolutely flying early in the third period and Kris Letang also picked up his second goal of the afternoon. Sidney Crosby did an excellent job of holding off the Rangers until Letang stepped on the ice, and hit him with a perfect centering feed coming into the zone. Letang was able to avoid the traffic in front with his shot, and sniped it over Georgiev’s shoulder.

5-3 Penguins
Evgeni Malkin (17) - Phil Kessel (40) & Zach Aston-Reese (6) - 7:24 3rd Period

The Penguins continued to give the Rangers trouble in the defensive zone, and Evgeni Malkin finally picked up his first goal of the day. Phil Kessel was credited with the primary assist after his centering pass from behind the net landed right on Malkin’s tape.

6-3 Penguins
Evgeni Malkin (18) - Zach Aston-Reese (7) & Phil Kessel (41) - 9:55 3rd Period

A little under three minutes later, Evgeni Malkin was back for more and potted his 18th goal of the season. Unlike his previous goal, this one was a highlight-reel spin-o-rama shot from just inside the faceoff circle, and he picked the left corner of the net on Georgiev. This goal all but sealed the game for the Penguins.

6-4 Penguins
Kevin Hayes (14) - Tony DeAngelo (13) & Marc Staal (10) - 14:14 3rd Period

Despite giving up three straight goals, the Rangers weren’t going to end this game without some sort of fight. Kevin Hayes was able to make it a two goal came with under six minutes to play after he ripped a blistering wrist shot past Casey DeSmith.

6-5 Rangers
Mika Zibanejad (26) - Chris Kreider (21) & Kevin Shattenkirk (16) - 19:42 3rd Period

The Rangers made this game even more interesting as Mika Zibanejad tallied his 26th goal of the season to bring the Rangers back within a goal. Zibanejad was able to collect a rebound off to the left of Casey DeSmith, and flipped the puck back over the goaltender on the far side. Unfortunately, though, this goal came a little too late for the Rangers to complete the comeback.

Following today’s high scoring battle with the Penguins, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before returning to action on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.