NHL Playoffs: Penguins retake series lead 2-1 against Rangers

Summary Rangers v. penguins

The Penguins made their comeback in front of their fans with a 7-4 win in Game 3 of the series against Rangers to take a 2-1 lead.

The task was not easy for Pittsburgh, who had to keep a cool head. The Penguins gambled away a three-goal lead in the second period but found their rhythm and regained control of the game.

Quebec goaltender Louis Domingue did well in the win, stopping 32 pucks on 36 shots.

“I’ve been bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the American League for the past seven years. It’s like being a rookie again today,” said Domingue, who was forced into the starting XI due to injuries to Penguins first-choice goalies Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.

“I’m a rookie in the playoffs, every day brings something new for me. It’s a new experience. »

The Penguins are finding their fans for the next two games of the series against the Rangers and it will be an undeniable advantage for Pittsburgh.

With less than two minutes left, Brock McGinn surprised Igor Shesterkin at the short end to put the Penguins ahead. Just over three minutes later, Kaapo Kakko provided the cue for Rangers when his shot thwarted Louis Domingue in the top half.

Moments later, Evan Rodrigues’ shot slipped past Shesterkin and the puck slid past the red line after tagging Jeff Carter. Just two minutes later, Rodrigues used a favorable return against the ramp to place the disc up in the net and give the Pennsylvania team a two-goal lead.

One thing is for sure, Rodrigues was on a mission. With less than five minutes remaining in the first game, the forward unleashed a perfect wrist shot to increase the Penguins’ lead to three goals.

For Rodrigues it was already the third point of half-time. The only player in Penguins history to have more points than Rodrigues in a playoff period is none other than Mario Lemieux. He had four points in a period in a game in 1989 and again in 1992.

Shesterkin was kicked out after the first 20 minutes and replaced by Alexandar Georgiev.

“Igor was amazing,” said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant. Looking at the whole thing, he’s played 10 periods in the last five days. I figured it would be a good time to allow him to revive. »

Georgiev’s arrival seemed to breathe new life into Rangers, who showed signs of life in the second half. After 6:51 playing time, Frank Vatrano shot a one-timer and reduced the lead to two goals.

Then, a minute and seven seconds later, Artemi Panarin fired into the top corner, putting Rangers just one goal behind the Penguins.

Pittsburgh narrowly avoided disaster late in the second third. When Domingue returned to the bench during a delayed penalty in favor of a sixth attacker, Rodrigues tried to get the puck back on the blue line but there was no defender there. The puck slipped into the Penguins’ net before hitting the post.

However, it wasn’t long before Rangers leveled the game. Seconds after Rodrigues’ streak, Rangers attacked outnumbered. Andrew Copp lunged for a loose puck, which he then pushed into the net to level the game 4-4.

Midway through the third period, the Penguins managed to stop the bleeding when a weak shot from Danton Heinen hit a stick in front of the net before landing behind the goal line.

“I experienced rollercoaster feelings,” admitted Heinen, who was kicked out in the third third because of a racket. “Our penalty shootout was incredible. Louis was our best player in those moments, but the lads fought before him. I was lucky enough to score the winning goal. »

Pittsburgh completed the goal late with two empty nets from Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter. Most notably, on Carter’s goal, Sidney Crosby performed an impressive maneuver between his legs to return the disc to Carter.

“A lot of teams don’t recover from a three-goal lead,” said Mike Sullivan, Penguins head coach. I believe our victory demonstrates the experience and endurance of our group. »

The two teams will meet again on Monday for game number 4.

Leave a Comment