Comeback kids do it again, 5-1 over the Penguins

Mar 25, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Andrew Copp (18) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) and center Ryan Strome (16) and left wing Artemi Panarin (10) and defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Andrew Copp (18) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) and center Ryan Strome (16) and left wing Artemi Panarin (10) and defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 25, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Teddy Blueger (53) fight for position during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Teddy Blueger (53) fight for position during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

About the game

For once, the Rangers had a good start.  They had three of the first four shot attempts and then it was Alexis Lafrenière who scored just 2:07 into the game.

Lafrenière had been moved to the third line with Filip Chytil and Barclay Goodrow.  All three played a part in the goal with Goodrow getting the puck out of the Ranger zone to a streaking Chytil who broke into the Penguins zone with Lafrenière on a two-on-one.  He fed his linemate who put a backhander under Tristan Jarry.

They kept the pressure up and less than two minutes later, it was time for Chris Kreider to score his 43rd goal of the season.

The Rangers made a quick transition after the Jake Guentzel lost the puck in the Blueshirts’ zone and Mika Zibanejad fed Kreider with a brilliant pass for the breakaway.   Kreider was streaking in from the right side and put the puck past Jarry.

Ranger fans were pinching themselves just 18 seconds later when another brilliant Zibanejad pass found Frank Vatrano open in front and he slammed the puck home.

Kreider got into the Penguins’ zone and pushed the puck to the corner where Zibanejad got to it first and he fed a backhand to Vatrano for the gimme.

The Blueshirts couldn’t capitalize on a Sidney Crosby penalty, but then at 15:50, Dryden Hunt inadvertently high sticked Marcus Pettersson, drawing blood and a double minor.  The penalty kill was brilliant, allowing only two shots on goal in the four minutes.

In the second period, the Rangers got in trouble when Igor Shesterkin shot the puck over the glass, but the penalty killers were outstanding again, not allowing a shot on goal.  Of course, they were helped immensely by a shorthanded goal by Chris Kreider, his third of the season.

Kreider got control of the puck in the defensive zone and made the pass to ZIbanejad who broke out.  Kreider joined the play, creating a two-on-one and fired a one-timer past Jarry for the goal.  It was 4-0 Rangers and they were totally dominant.

Shesterkin thrilled the crowd, nonplussed by his penalty, as he sent three pucks down ice, setting up Barclay Goodrow for a breakaway and Artemi Panarin for an odd man rush. The third time the puck got all the way to Tristan Jarry.

It was a good comeback for Shesterkin as he wasn’t too busy, but was here when he needed to be.


The Penguin finally got on the board in third period, scoring on the power play after  Patrik Nemeth was called for roughing Sidney Crosby.  Let’s just say that Crosby sold it well.

The Rangers got the goal back, ending any hopes of a Penguins comeback when Artemi Panarin fed Andrew Copp for his first goal as a Blueshirt.

Copp won the draw in the Rangers’ zone and fed Strome who gave it to Panarin who sent it deep into the Pens’ zone. Strome beat the Penguins to the puck and got it back to Panarin who made an outstanding no look pass to Copp who was wide open in the slot. 5-1 Rangers.

Here is a video recap of the game.

Mika Zibanejad talked about the Devils game.  “We knew we’re better than that.  We obviously want to play great and have our best game very night and the way we responded tonight was a good sign.”

It was a very complete win for the Blueshirts and sets up an interesting rematch on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.