The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers today 3-2 in overtime at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Forward Jason Zucker scored in his fourth straight game, and forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each got two assists for the Pens, who improved to 34-22-10 on the season, and 7-1-1 in their last nine games. Goaltender Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for the win.
Forwards Chris Kreider and Barclay Goodrow scored for the Rangers, who dropped to 37-19-10 after winning their last two games. This is also the third straight game the team has come back to force overtime. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for the Rangers.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently two points ahead of the New York Islanders for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. They are also six points behind the Rangers for third in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers are eight points behind the New Jersey Devils for second in the Metro.
Almost five minutes into the game, forward Vincent Trocheck was called for high-sticking, which gave the Penguins a 12-second five-on-three. Forty-six seconds later, forward Mika Zibenejad was called for high-sticking to give the Penguins another five-on-three. Just over six minutes into the first period, forward Rickard Rakell gave the Penguins the 1-0 lead off a one-timer from Crosby during the second five-on-three. This goal would give Crosby his 10th career 50+ assist season, which is only behind Mario Lemieux (11) for most in Penguins history. At 11:18, forward Jimmy Vesey fed Goodrow to tie the game up at 1-1 for the Rangers.
Just over a minute into the second period, Zucker’s shot was deflected by Zibenejad to give the Penguins the 2-1 lead and his ninth goal in his past eight games. At 10:46, Penguins defenseman Dmitry Kulikov blocked a shot from Rangers forward Patrick Kane. He was slow to get up but continued to play during the second period. He did not play in the third period.
Just over nine minutes into the third period, Kreider scored in the slot after receiving a feed from Trocheck.
A minute and 38 seconds into overtime, defenseman Kris Letang scored on the power-play to give the Penguins the 3-2 win. He scored after receiving a feed from Malkin to get his third overtime goal of the season. Only two defensemen have scored more overtime goals in NHL history. He is behind Brent Burns and Scott Niedermayer, who has 16 and 13, respectively.
The Penguins and Rangers play again on Thursday night and Saturday at Madison Square Garden in NYC.