Penguins snap the Rangers five game winning streak in a lose at Madison Square Garden

Apr 1, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and Pittsburgh
Apr 1, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and Pittsburgh / Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

An oddly sloppy performance from the New York Rangers saw them come up short at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins as they were defeated 5-2 at Madison Square Garden. It snaps a five game winning streak from the Blueshirts as they head into the final seven games of the season on a sour note. A difficult night for the Blueshirts as they couldn't handle Sidney Crosby tonight.

Pittsburgh opened the scoring eighteen seconds into the game. Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust would work a scoring opportunity that the latter would put home, and the Rangers sluggish starts are continuing to be a theme. Crosby and Rust started this game really well and gave the Rangers defense fits. It needed to get better from here.

Pittsburgh would grab another one when the Penguins were able to work the puck back to the point. A simple shot was deflected by Sidney Crosby in the low slot and put it into the top corner. However, the Rangers had a look at this for offside and it was incredibly close. With a little more than 9 minutes to go in the first, it was a gamble, but it backfired. New York were now trailing 2-0 and going to the penalty kill. Your Rangers would kill it, but so there was no salt in the wound, but it could have been worse.

New York thought they had cut the lead in half early in the second period when the New York Rangers powerplay would set up the vaunted Mika Zibanejad one-timer. However, Chris Kreider got tangled up with Alex Nedeljkovic as the shot was taken, and the play was waived off for goaltender interference. Accidental contact, so no penalty, but disappointing when the Blueshirts thought they were back in this game.

Pittsburgh would make it 3-0 in the third period when they would send Emil Bemstrom through on a breakaway. Will Cuylle turned the puck over in the offensive zone, allowing Bemstrom to streak up the ice on Shesterkin. The former Blue Jacket buried it past the Russian netminder, and the Rangers, who were looking sluggish all night, needed a heist to win this game from this position. They needed a goal.

New York thought they struck again when a beautiful cross-crease pass set up Kaapo Kakko got a one-timer off at the back post, but Alex Nedeljkovic got the glove across. Or did he? While Nedeljkovic caught it, the puck went into the glove, and the glove hit the inside of the netting, getting the Rangers on the board and bringing the silent garden to life as the Rangers were now chasing this game with momentum.

With a hair over three minutes to go, the Rangers top line would drag the Rangers back within one. A bad line change for the Penguins allowed Mika Zibanejad to have enough time to force a shot. It went well wide in the end, but it took a funky bounce off the end boards to Jack Roslovic at the back post and he was able to get it into the net before Nedeljkovic was able to get across. Suddenly, in a game the Rangers had no right to be in, there were alive. They were kicking. Could they steal it?

Shesterkin would be pulled with 2:30 left to go, but Bryan Rust would hit the empty net almost immediately, restoring the Penguins multiple goal lead. It put the game out of reach, and the Rangers were going to come up short again, New York would pull Shesterin again, trying to get into it, but it was beyond reach. Crosby would hit a fifth for the Penguins and that saw the end of the game. Just a sloppy performance from the Rangers tonight.