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Hagelin, Rangers edge Penguins in OT, win series

by Dan Rosen /

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin never actually saw the puck go into the net. He didn't need to, though. The roar of the crowd confirmed it for him.

Hagelin's goal at 10:52 of overtime Friday carried the Rangers into the Eastern Conference Second Round with a series-clinching 2-1 win in Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

"I felt the building getting louder, and then [Dominic Moore] was yelling in my ear; [Jesper Fast] got in there too," Hagelin said. "I got goose bumps. An unbelievable feeling."

All four Rangers wins in the series came by a 2-1 score, including the past two in overtime. All five games in the series were decided by one goal.

Game 5 was decided when Hagelin came out from behind the goal line with the puck, curled into the right circle and beat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a low shot to the short side.

"I kind of blacked out after," Hagelin said.

The Rangers will play the winner of the series between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders. Washington leads 3-2 with Game 6 set for Saturday at Nassau Coliseum (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

The Rangers were 2-3-0 against the Islanders in the regular season, but they won the past two games against their biggest rival. They were 3-1-0 against the Capitals.

None of that was on the Rangers' minds shortly after eliminating the Penguins. All they cared about was winning in five and moving on because they know firsthand what can happen when a team that trails 3-1 in a series gets some life.

The Rangers rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second round last season to eliminate the Penguins in seven games.

"Knowing it's not over until you get to four, we talked about it going into this game to understand the importance of this game," New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "They're playing well, they're close in every game, so if they win here and come home, so many things can change. We definitely felt the importance, and that's why it was just an unbelievable feeling to end it like we did."

Fleury made 34 saves in Game 5 and stopped 139 of 150 shots in the series.

"[Fleury] gave us a chance to win every night," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said.

It didn't matter because the Penguins scored eight goals on 132 shots against Lundqvist.

Pittsburgh had 38 shots on goal in Game 5; it didn't have more than 25 in any of the previous four games. Lundqvist made 14 saves in the third period and five more in overtime.

"Big saves when we needed 'em," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "That's what you need from your goalie in the playoffs. When we needed a save, he gave it to us."

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin was held off the scoresheet again despite playing his strongest game of the series. Malkin had no points in the five games. He had six shots on goal in Game 5 after getting five through the first four games.

Crosby had an assist on forward Nick Spaling's game-tying goal at 17:23 of the second period, two goals in helping the Penguins win Game 2, and four points in the series. However, the Penguins' top power-play unit that featured Crosby and Malkin didn't score a goal on 13 chances.

"Our power play could have done a little more," Crosby said.

New York had a chance to score the go-ahead goal with 3:44 to play in regulation, but defenseman Dan Boyle shanked a one-timer from the left circle that had a clear path into the open left side of the net with Fleury caught on the opposite side.

The third period also featured shots off the post by Rangers right wing J.T. Miller and Crosby, more indications of how close it was despite the 4-1 series win for the Rangers.

"We were really good in this series, really good," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "It's just a fine line with all those 2-1 games; it's a really fine line who wins and a bounce here, a bounce there. They deserve credit. They're a really good team and they're the top team in the League for a reason, but I thought we battled hard."

Rangers center Derek Stepan gave New York a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:23 of the first period. He found the rebound of Boyle's shot from the point at his feet in the slot, kicked the puck to his forehand and put it past Fleury 12 seconds into the power play.

New York scored the first goal in four of the five games.

"Just find a loose puck and able to bang it home," Stepan said.

Spaling tied it at 17:23 of the second period with his only goal of the series. By that point Fleury had 21 saves, including four during a Rangers power play that took place approximately four minutes before Spaling scored the tying goal.

The Penguins started to generate some zone time even before forward Blake Comeau went off for holding Hagelin at 13 minutes of the second period.

Lundqvist was forced to make difficult saves on shots from the point and through traffic by defensemen Paul Martin and Brian Dumoulin. He also made a left-pad save on right wing Patric Hornqvist from the slot and off the rebound with left wing Chris Kunitz right in his face.

Pittsburgh broke through when Crosby flung the puck at Lundqvist from the goal line to the right of the net. Lundqvist got his blocker on it, and then it hit off of Steve Downie before Spaling came through and appeared to knock it in with his left arm.

There was a video review after Spaling put the puck in the net to confirm it was a good goal.

"I was hoping to close the door, and they got one," Lundqvist said. "It bothered me a little bit, the way it bounced in."

Pittsburgh pushed for the go-ahead goal in the third period and had 12 of its 14 shots in the period through 13:05. As they did every time when the Penguins pushed in the series, the Rangers responded.

This time, the response put the Penguins down for good.

"One of the happiest moments of my life," Hagelin said.


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