It was a goalie duel in the Steel City. As Jonathan Quick and Tristan Jarry displayed their incredible shot-stopping abilities, the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins became locked in a tactical battle more than an end-to-end game that the Rangers have been more accustomed to at the start of this season. It was a night of blowouts, and this was a true exception.
It started well in the first period when Quick kept making save after save. That was until the Rangers could steal the puck away from the Penguins in the neutral zone. Mika Zibanejad sent Alexis Lafreniere through on goal. Lafreniere made no mistake to score and give the Rangers a 1-0 lead early. It seemed to settle the team down and allow the Rangers to play from a position of strength.
Pittsburgh thought that they had tied the game up when they were able to knock the glove loose on Jonathan Quick before firing the puck at the bare hand of the netminder. The goal was allowed to stand before Peter Laviolette challenged the play for offsides and got the goal taken off the board. Despite all the fun, it was still 1-0 New York at the conclusion of the first period.
From there on, we got to see the strength of the netminders. Jarry making save after save, and Quick denying Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel left and right. Hearts of Blueshirts fans across the country were in their mouths then. It would stay that way as we went into the third period. Twenty minutes separated the Rangers from another victory.
Then, as if on queue, the Blueshirts started a parade to the penalty box. Taking bad penalty after bad penalty allowed the Penguins to start to build momentum on their man advantage, but it also annoyed the Rangers, which introduced a chippiness to their play that had not been present for most of the night. Suddenly, big hits flew left and right, and Pittsburgh kept finding ways to draw powerplays.
It was not a pretty third period for the Rangers, but the Blueshirts were able to get to the end of the third period. A powerplay with less than three minutes left helped the nerves of Rangers fans worldwide. The Penguins hooked Jarry with 30 seconds left and called their time out with 11 seconds remaining and an offensive zone face-off. Zibanejad cleared the puck, an the Rangers won an ugly game 1-0. Quick’s 2nd shutout of the season. His first win in regulation in Pittsburgh.