The New York Rangers escaped elimination by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
The Penguins continue to lead the series 3-2.
Rangers were two goals down in the second half before Penguins captain Sidney Crosby left the game with a possible head injury and then the tide turned for them with three goals in a row.
However, the locals almost shot themselves in the foot early in the game. The pens got a double power play after just 24 seconds but couldn’t capitalize on it. They were still the first to get on the board thanks to a goal by Jake Guentzel, whose shot from behind the net touched goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin’s skate before it landed in the net.
Guentzel has scored in each of the five first-round meetings and is only the fourth player in 25 years to complete that streak, after Mikael Samuelsson, Martin Havlat and Rick Tocchet.
Kris Letang made it 2-0 at halftime by beating Shesterkin. He accepted a cross pass from Evgeni Malkin that Alexis Lafrenière was unable to intercept with a diver.
At this point, Crosby left the game after being hit in the head by Jacob Trouba and Rangers took advantage of his absence to get back in the game.
Adam Fox finally got Rangers on the board with 5 minutes left and 1:30 minutes later Lafrenière equalized after a pass from Kappo Kakko when he was on his own in front of the net.
It didn’t stop as Louis Domingue allowed a third goal within 2:30, this time for Jacob Trouba, who avoided traffic.
The Penguins stopped the bleeding thanks to Guentzel, again him, who scored to make it 3-3.
Crosby still out to start the third period, Rangers reclaimed a 4-3 lead through Filip Chytil.
The Penguins pulled their keeper 1:30 from the end of the game but couldn’t force an overtime when Ryan Lindgren hit an empty net.
Guentzel uses Shesterkin… to trick Shesterkin!
Perfect pass from Malkin, Letang takes the lead
Trouba finds the hole in the bottom of the web
Guentzel answers 16 seconds later!