The New York Rangers win 5-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers dominated the game, having 33 shots on goal to the Penguins 21. Here is how it went down.
Injury Report and Pregame Stats
Entering the game, the Rangers were second on the power play, ninth in the penalty kill and fourth in goals against. The Penguins were 21st in PP, second in the PK and third in goals against. In away games, the Penguins were first on their PP, where they went 1-for-4.
Their last matchup was February 26 where the Rangers lost 1-0 in Pittsburgh on a PPG by Evgeni Malkin. Malkin was not in tonight’s lineup, due to a non-COVID related illness.
Also not in the lineup were Greg McKegg, Ryan Reaves, Julien Gauthier, Libor Hajek and Justin Braun for the Rangers.
First Period Madness
The scoring came early for the Rangers as Alexis Lafreniere (14) scored on his backhand, trickling between the legs of Tristan Jarry. Filip Chytil (11) and Barclay Goodrow (12) assisted on the play. This point extended Lafreniere’s point streak to five games.
Right after coming off the bench, Chris Kreider (43) adds to the Rangers lead on a wrist shot. He scored on a breakaway from a great pass from Mika Zibanejad (40), who earned his 500th NHL point.
Eighteen seconds later, Frank Vatrano (12) scored on a slap shot. It started with Kreider’s excellent play along the boards, passing it to Zibanejad. Vatrano got open and Zibanejad made a fabulous pass to Vatrano, shooting the puck between Jarry’s legs.
At 14:38, after Igor Shesterkin saved the initial shot, play was shortly stopped after the whistle blew, the puck going in right after that. It was originally ruled no goal, was reviewed and then confirmed because Shesterkin was pushed into the net.
A Quiet Second
The only goal that took place was on a Penguins PP. Shesterkin had some pressure and shot the puck over the glass, earning a delay of game penalty. It was served by Lafreniere.
During this PP, Zibanejad gets to the puck, entering the zone, and Kreider joins him in a 2-on-1. Kreider scored on a snap shot, getting a short-handed goal. After this goal, Jarry was replaced by Casey Smith.
Smith ended up leaving the game, Jarry taking the net again. This came about after one of Smith’s own players went into him unintentionally, hitting into his head and causing Smith to fall to the ice.
At 6:00, the Penguins finally got one passed Shesterkin. After Patrik Nemeth got a roughing penalty against Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter (15) scored on a tip-in on the initial shot by Kasperi Kapanen (19). Danton Heinen (12) also assisted on the play.
Towards the end of the period, Andrew Copp (14) scored his first goal as a Ranger on a snap shot. The brilliant pass by Panarin (58), shooting it backwards, went right to an open Copp. Ryan Strome (30) assisted on the goal.
The Rangers are going to be facing the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, March 27th at 5 p.m. ET. This will be the third time this season that these teams face off. The first time was on November 21, 2021 when the Rangers won 5-4.
The Rangers ended up defeated the Sabres in their next matchup by the score of 2-1.
As far as the playoffs go, the Sabres don’t stand a chance. They are sixth in the Atlantic Division with 55 points, 27 points behind the Washington Capitals who hold the second Wild Card spot at 82 points.
Will the Sabres look to be one of the teams to upset the playoff-bound teams? Can the Sabres take the roll of beating the great teams, causing them to lose positions in the playoffs? It wouldn’t come as a surprise for those teams that have nothing to lose to become a force to be reckoned with.
Watch Sunday evening to see if the Rangers win again. If this happens, the Rangers will earn a series sweep against the Sabres.
Featured Image Courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
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