Penguins marginalize Rangers

For the second time in as many games, the Penguins manhandled New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin in Pittsburgh on Monday to win Game 4, 7-2.

The Pennsylvania formation cornered its rivals at the foot of the wall, which leads the series 3-1.

Only in the second half did the crowd’s favorite show all the colors of the opposing goalkeeper. Montreal native Mike Matheson got the ball rolling by scoring his first playoff goal of his career. Almost 24 seconds later, Jake Guentzel also shook the ropes.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had an assist for each of those goals, having also scored in the first period. With three points, he reached the 200-point career plateau in the playoffs. He is only the sixth skater in NHL history to achieve that goal and is just a point away from Jaromir Jagr in fifth.

Mark Friedman, Danton Heinen and Jeff Carter also defeated Shesterkin. The last two goalscorers also scored, 35 seconds apart, in the last two minutes of the middle section.

Rangers’ Russian masked man has given way to Alexandar Georgiev for a second game in a row. This time he gave up six times on 30 shots in two periods. As a substitute, Georgiev allowed a goal from Evgeni Malkin, making 10 saves in the process.

Lafrenière breaks the ice

Moments of jubilation were rare among the visitors, but Alexis Lafrenière was the originator of one. The Quebecer, first overall pick in the 2020 draft, is in his first career playoff games. In the 126th second, he hit the net for the first time in his playoff career.

Adam Fox had the other net for Rangers, who saw Louis Domingue block 22 of 24 shots aimed at him.

The Big Apple team also experienced a first-half scare when forward Chris Kreider, author of 52 regular-season goals, returned to the dressing room after a first-half puck to the neck. However, he returned to play in the next quarter.

The Rangers will make their first attempt to avoid elimination on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

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