(I’m putting the goals recap at the end so we’re not sitting here scrolling through the Penguins’ Twitter feed)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Today, they creamed the Rangers in a 7-2 game that saw 5 goals in the second period alone. Things started pretty even for these teams. Alexis Lafreniere was the first to crack the ice with a goal for the Rangers just 2 minutes into the game. Sidney Crosby didn’t let the Rangers get comfortable. He scored a power-play goal to tie things up a little over halfway into the first period.
Despite good chances on both sides, the first period ended with a 1-1 score. It was looking like things could end up close like that first game. The Rangers just needed to get more shots and make something stick. However, the Penguins had other plans.
The Penguins got their second-period scoring started early. Mike Matheson broke the tie at the 3:14 mark. Before you could blink, Jake Guentzel added his own goal to the mix 24 seconds later. All of a sudden, the Rangers are looking down the barrel of a long period.
Mark Friedman joined the party at the 11:22 mark of the period with his first-ever playoff goal. A few minutes later, Adam Fox got one for the Rangers. But much like a Hydra, the Rangers score one and it is answered with two Penguin goals. This time from Danton Heinen at the 18:53 mark and then Jeff Carter added his in the dying seconds of the third period.
The Rangers just could not keep a hold of anything in the second period. It was like every situation they were in, the Penguins found a way to extort a weakness and up the score. In the final frame, Igor Shesterkin, who has been phenomenal for the Rangers so far, was benched while Alexander Georgiev got a taste of the playoffs. Evgeni Malkin scored on him a little over halfway into the period but Georgiev did pretty solid otherwise. He stopped 10 of 11 shots he faces. The Rangers fell 7-2 and here are the promised highlights:
Tough loss for the Rangers considering they are now one loss away from getting kicked out of the playoffs. They were an underdog heading into this and who knows maybe they somehow come back, win the next two games, and force a game seven. However, I think the Penguins have a lot more gas in the tank. They’ve put up seven goals in each of their last two games, they’re on a last-ditch run to get Crosby, Malkin, and Kris Letang one more Stanley Cup, and they don’t look like they’ll be slowing down. Big Game 5 goes down on Wednesday night and it will be a doozy.
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Featured Image: Screenshot from this tweet