May 2, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing Benoit Pouliot (67) receives congratulations from defenseman Marc Staal (18) after Pouliot scored a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins: Game 1 Wrap-Up

FINAL SCORE: New York Rangers – 3 Pittsburgh Penguins – 2

SERIES SCORE: New York Rangers – 1 Pittsburgh Penguins – 0

FIRST PERIOD: The Rangers were playing in their third game in four nights and needed to have a good start if they hoped to have a chance at this game. Five minutes into the game Benoit Pouliot took a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that went right by Marc-Andre Fleury and into the net. It wasn’t until two minutes after that til the Penguins registered a shot on goal against Henrik Lundqvist. After that shot the play was extremely even, and both teams had their fair share of chances. With just nine minutes gone by Dominic Moore took a penalty and after swarming the net around Lundqvist the Rangers managed to kill it off, but not without almost scoring a shorthanded goal by Martin St. Louis. After the Rangers penalty the Penguins took one of their own, the Rangers had sustained offensive pressure but could not put it home and went 0/22 on recent power plays. Later in the frame, the Penguins were swarming in the Rangers zone but were then called for an offside which was later reviewed to not have been an offside. On the following face-off the Rangers managed to clear it and Carl Hagelin fore-checked and passed it to Brad Richards who scored the Rangers second goal on his 34th birthday. The Rangers clearly had the momentum going into the end of the period and would start the second period on the power play. Rangers led 2-0 in goals and 13-8 in shots.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

SECOND PERIOD: All the Rangers needed to do was come out and keep their foot on the gas pedal and it would be an easy period. However, these are the Rangers and nothing comes easy. The Rangers started off on the power play but that was negated 52 seconds in when Derick Brassard took a hooking penalty. After all the penalties were cleared off the board the Penguins had all the momentum in the game. St. Louis took a penalty and sent the Penguins to their third power play of the game which the Rangers managed to kill off. A Minute after the penalty was over the Rangers defense had a breakdown and allowed Lee Stempniak to walk in a backhand a shot past a screened Lundqvist and cut the Rangers lead in half. Five minutes later, after another failed Rangers power play James Neal took a shot that went over Lundqvist and into the net to tie the game at two. The Penguins had all the momentum and the Consol Energy Center came alive. Beau Bennett took a penalty and the Rangers received another power play opportunity and GUESS WHAT, they didn’t score again. The period came to its end and the Rangers slumped off the ice, blowing a two goal lead, the game was tied at two but the Rangers were out shot 15-4 for the second period, 23-17 for the game so far.

THIRD PERIOD: The Rangers played better this period than they in the second period. The line of Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, and Martin St. Louis created some very good offensive chances. Early in the period Brian Boyle took a penalty, but after that was killed there were no further penalties in the period. Each time had plenty of offensive opportunities, Pittsburgh took twelve shots and New York took 8 and both goalies made some very good saves. There was a sense towards the end of the period that the next goal would be the game winner and that proved to be true as the period came to an end and the Rangers went to overtime, the first overtime period for the Rangers in these playoffs. The game was tied at two and the Penguins led in shots 35-25.

OVERTIME PERIOD ONE: The Rangers went into their first overtime game of these Stanley Cup Playoffs looking to get a win. The Rangers went into this overtime 0-4 in their last four overtime playoff road games, but the Penguins went 0-4 in their last four overtime playoff home games. The Rangers dominated the three minutes of overtime, Brassard shot the puck into the net but the ref did not see it cross the line so deemed it a no goal call, however Pouliot banked in the rebound and the Rangers won and took a 1-0 series lead.

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Tags: Benoit Pouliot Brad Richards New York Rangers Stanley Cup Playoffs

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