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game recap

Rangers bounce back, defeat Penguins in Game 2 of Eastern First Round

Panarin, Vatrano each has goal, two assists to help even series; Domingue makes 35 saves for Pittsburgh

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / Staff Writer

Recap NYR 5, PIT 2

Panarin's 3-point night powers Rangers in Game 2 win

Artemi Panarin had a goal and 2 assists, and Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves to lift the Rangers over the Penguins in Game 2, 5-2

  • 05:07 •

NEW YORK -- Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and two assists for the New York Rangers in a 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves, K'Andre Miller had two assists for his first career NHL playoff points, and Andrew Copp, Ryan Strome and Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers, the No. 2 seed in the Metropolitan Division.

Shesterkin made 79 saves in a 4-3 triple-overtime loss in Game 1, the second-most saves in a playoff game. Joonas Korpisalo of the Columbus Blue Jackets made 85 saves against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the 2020 first round.

"He made three or four real good saves in the third (period) for sure, early on … so that was huge for us because that was probably the worst four or five minutes we had in the whole game. That was big," New York coach Gerard Gallant said.


[RELATED: Complete Rangers vs. Penguins series coverage]


Louis Domingue made 35 saves, Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Jake Guentzel scored for the Penguins, the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan.

Domingue, who entered Game 1 in the second overtime after starting goalie Casey DeSmith sustained a lower-body injury, made his first career NHL playoff start. 

"He made some big saves, especially when it was a one, two-goal difference. That kept us in it," Crosby said. "He's competing and giving us a chance. It would've been nice to give him some help and tie it up and see what happened."

Video: PIT@NYR, Gm2: Shesterkin makes 39 saves in Game 2 win

Copp gave New York a 1-0 lead at 6:50 of the first period after Panarin found him driving to the net.

Mika Zibanejad nearly put the Rangers ahead 2-0 at 7:55 but Domingue made a sprawling glove save. 

Guentzel tied it 1-1 at 8:52 after Marcus Pettersson's pass attempt deflected off Miller's skate to him in front with Shesterkin out of position.

Strome made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 2:59 of the second, deflecting Adam Fox's shot from the point. 

"I thought 5-on-5 tonight, for the most part, we were pretty good," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think the one area where we need to improve and get better is on the special teams on both sides. We've got to do a better job there."

Kreider extended it to 3-1 at 12:06 with a redirection of Vatrano's point shot.

Video: PIT@NYR, Gm 2: Kreider grabs another tip-in goal

Crosby cut it to 3-2 at 18:34 by shaking off three Rangers defensemen, driving to the net and scoring on the rebound of Bryan Rust's shot. He became the second player to score 70 playoff goals with the Penguins, joining Mario Lemieux (76).

"We get that late one, then we have some really good chances early in the third and didn't convert," Crosby said. "Then they got a bounce. That's really what it came down to.

"I think our starts, they're still lacking a bit, so we got to find a way to come out of the gates a little better, and hopefully being at home will do that for us."

Panarin made it 4-2 at 8:02 of the third period after his centering pass went in off the skate of Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson.

Video: PIT@NYR, Gm2: Panarin benefits from nice deflection

Vatrano scored for the 5-2 final at 9:49, getting past Matheson on the right board before scoring from the bottom of the face-off circle.

"It's what we talked about yesterday, playing a simple game and being hard on their defense and using our speed to our advantage," Vatrano said. "There's real momentum swings no matter who you're playing against. You have to learn how to weather those and when you get the momentum shifts, you make sure you're bearing down on your chances. I think that's what we did tonight."

NOTES: Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow did not play and is week to week with a lower-body injury. … New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren (lower body) did not play. … Penguins forward Jason Zucker participated in warmups but did not play. Sullivan said Zucker was a game-time decision, suggesting he is close to a return. He has not played since sustaining an injury April 26 against the Edmonton Oilers. … Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin missed the game with a lower-body injury and is day to day. ... Penguins forward Rickard Rakell did not play (undisclosed injury). He left Game 1 following a hit from Lindgren late in the first period. … Shesterkin has made 118 saves in consecutive games, tied for the second most in NHL history. He is the first goalie since shots on goal began being tracked in 1955-56 to make 100 saves through his team's first two playoff games, surpassing Jean-Sebastien Giguere (2003, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) and Roberto Luongo (2007, Vancouver Canucks) who each made 97 saves. … Kreider scored the game-winning goal, tying Mark Messier for the most (seven) in Rangers playoff history. … Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman had three shots on goal and one blocked shot in 11:55 of ice time in his first NHL playoff game. … Pittsburgh forward Drew O'Connor also made his NHL playoff debut and had one hit and one blocked shot in 6:33. … Crosby had an assist on Guentzel's goal for his 125th in the NHL playoffs, moving him one ahead of Sergei Fedorov for eighth on the all-time list. ... Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider had an assist on Vatrano's goal for his first NHL playoff point.

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