Tonight, the New York Rangers faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens have had the Rangers number all year, and tonight, the Broadway Blueshirts tried to flip the script and get back into playoff contention. The Rangers needed a big win tonight as each game they drop puts them further and further away from playoff contention.
The Rangers were given a great opportunity here to pick up a big win against a good team. The Penguins starting goaltender tonight was Tristan Jarry. coming off of an upper-body injury. The Penguins defense also came into the game off of an embarrassing performance, putting up five goals to the Bruins. New York’s offensive talent should be able to carve up a defense that plays like that.
Igor Shesterkin started in goal tonight, after a tough overtime loss to the Sabres. He got an opportunity to right the ship and get a big win here tonight. There weren’t any other changes in the lines for tonight.
The Rangers came into this game needing a big win. With playoffs on the line, the puck dropped and the Rangers got to work.
Rangers Score Early and Often in First
The first period started off fast, with a ton of scoring. The Rangers immediately got to work, Colin Blackwell scoring a goal off of a pass to open the floodgates. Mika Zibanejad continued to keep his hot streak going with a beautiful goal. Artemi Panarin did Artemi Panarin things, and the Rangers led 3-0 ten minutes into the game.
However, as this is the New York Rangers, it was not 3-0 long. Jared McCann scored instantly off of the powerplay to deny Shesterkin a shutout and put the Pens on the board. Way later in the period, Ryan Strome nets an amazing shot on the powerplay to make it 4-1, The Rangers go into the intermission up 4-1, Panarin having 3 points in utter domination of the Pens.
Despite the Penguins having an absurd 19 shots in 20 minutes, the Rangers absolutely dominated the first period. When it came to quality chances, they had full control in the first. They looked faster, smarter, and played a lot harder than the Pens, and for once it shows on the scoreboard. The Rangers looked to repeat that effort in the second and put the Pens out of the game.
An Even Second Ends With Rangers up 5-2
The Penguins started the second attempting to recover from their shortcomings in the second. Casey DeSmith was out to start the second in replace of Tristian Jarry. The scoring would be halted for the first half of the period until Alexis Lafreniere extends the lead. Moments later, Mike Matheson ripped a shot to make the game 5-2. Just like the first, the Rangers enter the second intermission with a three-goal lead.
The second period was more even than the lopsided first, though the Rangers did play better. Through two periods Igor has stood on his head. The Rangers looked to go into the third and put the game away with another goal. The Penguins are a team that can score quickly, so scoring another one was crucial for the Rangers.
Rangers Pour it on in the Third
The third period was utter domination from the Rangers. Kappo Kakko scores a deflection goal on the powerplay to grow the lead for the Blueshirts. Jake Guentzel answered back for the Pens and put the Blueshirts under some pressure. The Pens would get a powerplay shortly after, but it didn’t go the way they want. Adam Fox scored an amazing shorthanded goal to show fans why he’s a Norris candidate. Pavel Buchnevich gets a tip in less than a minute later, and the Blueshirts were pouring it on. Brian Dumoulin scored a late goal, but it didn’t change the outcome of the game.
Stars Guide the Blueshirts to Another Win
The New York Rangers offense explodes to an 8-4 win tonight against the Pens. The Blueshirts did just about everything right, and it shows on the scoreboard. They scored early, often, and from everywhere. The stars found the back of the net, and the kids’ line with Kakko and Lafreniere each got one too. With scoring from everywhere like this the Rangers were bound to win this game. Despite giving up 4 goals, Igor played amazing too, with 41 saves. The only thing that can be criticized is that Igor had to face 45 shots. Four goals isn’t a good amount to consistently be giving up, even if the offense plays well. However, the Rangers were able to outscore their problems tonight, and it led to a huge win.
The Blueshirt will play the Penguins again Thursday and will hope to have another night like tonight.