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Penguins lose to Rangers in OT, salvage third in Metro with late goal

Will face Islanders in first round; Crosby reaches 100 points

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

Strome's overtime snipe

NYR@PIT: Strome snipes top corner for overtime winner

Ryan Strome snaps a shot past Matt Murray and into the top corner, lifting the Rangers to a 4-3 overtime win

  • 01:09 •

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins secured third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Jake Guentzel scored his 40th goal of the season with 2:35 remaining in the third period to tie it 3-3, sending the game to overtime and giving Pittsburgh the point it needed to avoid falling into the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference on the final day of the regular season.

"I'm excited about the opportunity that we have," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think we have a real good hockey team. We just have to make sure that we play the game the right way and we compete, and we control what we can to be at our best."

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Penguins highlights]

 

The Penguins (44-26-12) will play the New York Islanders in the first round. The Islanders clinched second in the division and home-ice advantage in the series with a 3-0 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Saturday and clinched the first wild card, finishing one point behind the Penguins.

Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist to reach 100 points for the season, and Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Penguins, who won 11 of their final 18 games (11-4-3).

Video: NYR@PIT: Crosby gets 100th point on Guentzel's 40th

Brady Skjei and Vladislav Namestnikov scored 1:16 apart in the third period, and Alexandar Georgiev made 36 saves for the Rangers (32-36-14), who did not qualify for the playoffs. They lost three of their final four games (1-2-1).

Ryan Strome scored on a snap shot from the left face-off circle at 2:09 of overtime.

"I just thanked [the players] for their effort," Rangers coach David Quinn said after his first season as an NHL coach ended. "I said this before the game, this has been a great group to coach. Obviously not the season we wanted to have and certainly not the record we wanted to have. We certainly want to be playing past this point next year, but they gave it their all. It's a good group to coach. They were attentive. Just proud of the way this ended."

Crosby gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 6:36 of the first period. Guentzel passed under Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk's stick to Crosby in the right face-off circle, where he scored on a one-timer for his 35th goal of the season.

Video: NYR@PIT: Guentzel connects with Crosby for goal

Brendan Smith tied it 1-1 at 12:49 after intercepting a pass by Penguins forward Garrett Wilson in the neutral zone.

Nick Bjugstad put the Penguins ahead 2-1 at 2:28 of the third period by scoring on a wrist shot off a deflection from Patric Hornqvist.

Skjei tied it 2-2 on a wrist shot at 12:34 before Namestnikov scored shorthanded on a backhand, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead at 13:50.

Guentzel tied it after Crosby poked the puck across the crease to him for a wrist shot, giving Crosby 100 points.

"There was a lot of emotion," Guentzel said. "It was just neat to get that one and get a big point for us. ... There were a lot of ups and downs [in the third period]. I think when they scored that goal shorthanded, that was a pretty big down. It was kind of shocking. To come back and get that point, I think shows the character of our group."

 

They said it

"I'm very proud. Everybody battled so hard. Obviously guys are fighting for their spots for next season. I think it's going to be important for us to feel a bit more confident coming into next season." -- Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev

"We'll have to figure that one out. I could try to negotiate something with him. He'll get 50 [goals] at some point, so maybe I'll just hold onto that one." -- Penguins center Sidney Crosby on whether he or Guentzel will keep the puck from Crosby's 100th point and Guentzel's 40th goal

 

Need to know

Crosby reached 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in a season for the first time since he had 104 in 2013-14, and the sixth time in 14 NHL seasons. ... Guentzel scored 40 goals for the first time in three NHL seasons, playing all 82 games. He had 16 goals in 40 games in 2016-17 and 22 goals in 82 games last season. … Georgiev started back-to-back days to end the season. He made 39 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at home Friday. Henrik Lundqvist, who backed up Georgiev in each of those games, needs one win to reach 450 in the NHL. ... New York had lost its previous three games against Pittsburgh this season and had been outscored 18-9. ... Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin missed a third straight game with a lower-body injury. Sullivan said Dumoulin skated with defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (upper body) and forward Zach Aston-Reese (lower body) before the morning skate.

 

What's next

Rangers: Season over

Penguins: At the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round (Nassau Coliseum; TBA)

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