NYR 3, PIT 4 (SO) - Resilient Rangers Battle Back but Fall

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Mike Valvano

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3/31/2017 46-26-6 NYR 3 VS PIT 4 (SO) Game | Event | Play-by-Play | FO Sum. | FO Comp. | TOI – NYR | TOI – PIT | Shot Report | Shift Chart

After the 1-1-1 West Coast trip in which they were able to clinch a playoff spot, the Rangers (97 points) hosted the Penguins (103 points) on Friday night with a chance to re-establish their home ice presence. After going just 0-5-2 in their last seven at home, the Blueshirts got a strong third-period push and great efforts from their best players but fell to the Pens 4-3 in the shootout.

New York started with good pace and generated seven of the game’s first eight shots on goal, but Pittsburgh generated the next ten shots and captured the edge in play. Henrik Lundqvist had to be the best Ranger on the ice to get through the first 20:00 scoreless and he was, as he stopped all 15 shots he faced.

The 0-0 tie wouldn’t last long, however, as Jake Guentzel scored less than a minute into the second period just after a Penguins power play expired. Sidney Crosby scored his league-leading 43rd goal on a tricky shot from a bad angle that caught Hank a bit off the post and snuck in for the 2-0 advantage.

While home ice hasn’t been advantageous for the Rangers, the power play has been excellent of late. Just like it did against San Jose, albeit on the opposite side of the country, the man advantage gave the Blueshirts the momentum and cut the deficit to one in the last minute of the period. Nick Holden’s blast found the back of the net to get the Rangers on the board.

But unlike the game against the Sharks, the Rangers started the third period on their heels and surrendered a third goal. Fortunately, Henrik put on his crown and was phenomenal through the third period and overtime, making ten saves. If not for Lundqvist, who finished with 32 saves total, the game would have been over early in the third.

Perhaps building off the energy in the building that stemmed from Hank’s saves, the Rangers dictated play and ran wild on the Pens through the final ten. Their star players, in particular, carried them into overtime. Rick Nash scored his fifth goal in six games and Chris Kreider tied the game at 19:48. J.T. Miller assisted on both goals.

While the Blueshirts don’t want to make a habit of trying to come from behind, they can be happy with the resiliency they showed and, even when Pittsburgh had the edge in play, there were plenty of chances to score. They should be concerned, however, that they’re winless in their last eight games at home.

New York has another chance to right the ship at home as it hosts Philadelphia on Sunday.


Captain Ryan McDonagh was a scratched for maintenance; Derek Stepan’s three-game goal scoring streak came to an end; Rick Nash drew both Ranger power plays; New York has three more road wins than any other team in the league; the Rangers have 11 power play goals in their last 11 games; J.T. Miller and has back-to-back two-point games.

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