The Rangers won a chance to reclaim second place in the Metropolitan Division: Now, the Rangers and Penguins are likely to trade places in the standings a few more times. But, with a 3-2 win over the Penguins on Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena, the Blueshirts moved ahead of Pittsburgh in the division with 91 points.
Now, the Rangers and Penguins are likely to trade places in the standings a few more times. But, with a 3-2 win over the Penguins on Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena, the Blueshirts moved ahead of Pittsburgh in the division with 91 points.
You look at the standings before a game and know you’re one point behind them, with a game in hand — and it’s a huge night coming into here,’”Head Coach – Gerard Gallant
Gerard continued that they kept telling themselves to play another great NHL hockey game that night. They knew that they would face a difficult challenge. The players performed admirably.
It’s no small feat to go on the road and defeat a team they thrashed just five days before, which led to the Penguins furiously dumping 11 goals on the Red Wings in their next game. Pittsburgh was looking for a comeback win, but the Rangers proved their worth with a relentless forecheck and a tight defensive game.
This wasn’t as amicable as the previous two meetings between the teams. Aside from a brief scuffle after the second intermission whistle involving the Rangers’ Ryan Lindgren and the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel, the focus was on the puck for the majority of the game.
Perhaps they’re saving it for the upcoming first-round matchup in May. There is also one more regular-season meeting between the clubs scheduled for April 7.
“We know that’s a team that’s in the hunt with us,” Chris Kreider added. “All of the games are intense right now, regardless of whether a club is near or at the top of the standings. The level of competition and intensity rises every game as we get closer to the conclusion here.
The Rangers’ revamped top line of Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Frank Vatrano is forming nicely. Zibanejad passed a beautiful backhanded shot to Vatrano, whose quick shot from the slot beat Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry to tie the game at 13:32 early in the second period.
It was Vatrano’s fifth goal in his past seven games with New York.
Braden Schneider took a drop pass from Artemi Panarin just over three minutes later and blasted one between the circles to give the Rangers their first lead of the night.
“Panarin made a great pass and dropped it right on the plate for me,” said the first-year defenseman. “I didn’t even look at the net. I just fired it.”
Jacob Trouba had 25:05 of ice time for the Rangers, with three shots on goal, two blocks, and four hits in the victory. The Penguins’ top line of Guentzel, Evan Rodrigues, and Sidney Crosby targeted Trouba and K’Andre Miller frequently; their power-play goal at 10:37 of the final period cut the Rangers’ lead to one.