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game recap

Penguins recover, defeat Rangers in Game 3 to take series lead

Heinen breaks tie in third after Pittsburgh blows three-goal lead; Shesterkin pulled for New York

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Recap: PIT 7, NYR 4

Rodrigues, Penguins win Game 3 against Rangers, 7-4

Evan Rodrigues recorded 2 goals and an assist and Danton Heinen scored a go-ahead goal in a 7-4 Penguins Game 3 victory against the Rangers

  • 05:07 •

PITTSBURGH -- Danton Heinen scored the go-ahead goal at 11:02 of the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins recovered for a 7-4 win against the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Shortly after Louis Domingue made a save on a one-timer from Artemi Panarin, Heinen got to a loose puck low in the right face-off circle and shot five-hole on Alexandar Georgiev to put the Penguins back in front 5-4.

Jake Guentzel (17:46) and Jeff Carter (18:53) each shot into an empty net for the 7-4 final.

"I'm just grateful," Heinen said. "It's a lot of fun playing these games. Not everybody gets to do it, so I think just trying to take it all in, stay in the moment, be grateful and have as much fun as I can out there."

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm3: Heinen beats Georgiev short side in 3rd

Evan Rodrigues had two goals and an assist, Carter scored twice, and Sidney Crosby had two assists for the Penguins, the No. 3 seed from the Metropolitan Division. Domingue made 32 saves.

Igor Shesterkin allowed four goals on 15 shots before being replaced at the start of the second period for the Rangers, the No. 2 seed from the Metropolitan. Georgiev made 19 saves in relief.

"Igor has been outstanding," New York coach Gerard Gallant said. "Really, you look at it right now, and he's played 10 periods the last four and a half days, five days. ... I thought it was a good time to jump-start it."

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 will be here Monday.

 

[RELATED: Complete Rangers vs. Penguins series coverage]

 

Frank Vatrano got the Rangers to within 4-2 at 6:51 of the second period, scoring on a one-timer from the right circle, and Panarin cut it to 4-3 at 7:58 with a shot over Domingue's right shoulder from the left circle.

Andrew Copp then tied it 4-4 with a shorthanded goal at 15:59. Kevin Rooney stole the puck from Kris Letang and skated in for a backhand, which produced a rebound that Copp batted into the open net.

"It might have been the worst period we've played in the series. Not might have been, it has been," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We got away from the game that's brought us success. That's just the human element of sports."

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm3: Copp trails play, ties game shorthanded

New York finished 0-for-3 on the power play, two of which came in the third period prior to Heinen's goal.

"We had a chance to change the game and we couldn't get one," Rangers forward Ryan Strome said. "So it was obviously frustrating, especially after clawing all the way back."

Brock McGinn gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 1:57 of the first period when his shot from below the goal line hit the stick of New York defenseman Patrik Nemeth and deflected in off Shesterkin.

Kaapo Kakko tied it 1-1 at 5:08 with a wrist shot off a backhand cross-ice pass from Alexis Lafreniere.

Carter put the Penguins ahead 2-1 at 8:18. Rodrigues' point shot on the power play was stopped by Shesterkin, but the rebound hit Carter's leg and trickled five-hole on the goalie.

Rodrigues made it 3-1 at 10:31 with another power-play goal, and he extended the lead to 4-1 at 15:15 from the high slot after Brian Boyle forced a turnover by Braden Schneider.

"Anytime you can help the team win, you're obviously going to be happy," Rodrigues said. "It was a great start for us. We kind of let our foot off the gas there in the second, but we came back in the third. We got back to playing the way we started the game."

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm3: Rodrigues nets 2nd goal in 1st period

Pittsburgh scored on four of its first 11 shots on goal.

"I don't think we got to our game nearly quick enough," New York forward Chris Kreider said. "I don't think we played together. … We put ourselves in positions like that and have been able to claw back, but it's not something you can do in the playoffs."

NOTES: Crosby has 197 points (70 goals, 127 assists) in 177 playoff games, passing Paul Coffey (196 points in 194 games) for sixth in NHL history. He has six points (one goal, five assists) this series after getting six points (three goals, three assists) in 14 games in Pittsburgh's previous three postseason appearances. … Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (lower body) missed his second straight game after being labeled a game-time decision. … Penguins forward Jason Zucker had three shots and seven hits in 13:11 of ice time after missing three games, including the first two of this series, with a lower-body injury.

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