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Rangers Capture Very Tight Game 3 Over Pittsburgh 2-1

Henrik Lundqvist: 23 Saves on 24 Shots for a SV% of .958

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins were coming off of a 4-3 victory over the Rangers at MSG on Saturday, laid an egg in the first period of Game 3, as they do not register a shot on goal until after 15 minutes have elapsed. In fact, the Rangers held the Penguins to only three shots on goal in the opening period.

The Rangers on the other hand, scored first once again, this time on a breakaway by Carl Hagelin, who took a great pass from Keith Yandle, crossed the blue line, sped in on Marc-Andre Fleury and let go with a shot. The puck was on edge and seemed to knuckle for Hags and it went under the pads of Fleury for the goal.

In the second period, which had been all Pittsburgh for the first two games of the series, the Rangers turned that tide. They kept the Penguins in check and their scoring chances down. One shot by Sidney Crosby did beat Lundqvist, but clanged off the far post.

The Rangers were held scoreless on a power play, but when it was over, Chris Kreider took over. He skated into the Penguin end and passed the puck. Dan Girardi then got control and passed the puck to Marc Staal, who in turn took a shot at the Penguin net, but missed on purpose. The puck hit the end boards and flew directly to Chris Kreider, who batted the puck into the net in one fluid motion. The Blueshirts now led 2-0.

In the third, the Rangers kept up the pressure and missed on a few chances that would have made the score 3-0, but Fleury kept that third goal from scoring. Then the Penguins began a push that kept the play in the Rangers end for a good part of the last ten minutes.

Hank made one beauty of a right leg/pad/skate stop on Sidney Crosby and then a stop on a Ben Lovejoy slapper. But a crazed mix up in front, saw Patric Hornqvist shoot the puck past Hank, who had come out a little too far from his crease. This cut the lead to one goal.

But then the Rangers barred the door and kept the Penguins out, as the clock kept ticking and ticking. The last push came with 13.8 seconds left. The Penguins won the face off, but could not get a good scoring chance and the game ended.

One thing I can take away from this game is that the Penguins in general and Crosby in particular, are not only chippy; but downright dirty.

Crosby went after Lundqvist and knocked down the King with a subtle shoulder. He also threw an elbow at Ryan McDonagh and engaged in a bit of nastiness with the Rangers captain.

Another dirty move was when Chris Kreider scored his goal, Pittsburgh defenseman Ian Cole, who Kreider beat to the net, crosschecked him to the face. Kreids simply skated to his teammates and began to celebrate his goal and ignore the cheap shot.

That is how to retaliate to cheap shots, by putting the puck into the net.

The Rangers now lead in the series 2-1 and Game 4 will be vital to both teams. If the Penguins can win, the series will be tied at 2-2 and then be a best of three series. But if the Blueshirts win, they will have a 3-1 stranglehold on the series, with Game 5 to be played at MSG on Friday.

Let us see what will happen on Wednesday at the CONSOLE Energy Center in Pittsburgh for Game 4.

 

Scoring:

NYR: Carl Hagelin, Assisted by Keith Yandle & Dan Girardi

NYR: Chris Kreider, Assisted by Marc Staal & Dan Girardi

PITT: Patric Hornqvist, Assisted by Sidney Crosby & Ian Cole

 

Team Stats                              NYR                              PITT

Shots on Goal                         26                                  24

Power Play                              0/2                                 0/2

Hits                                         37                                  43

Takeaways                             3                                    3

Giveaways                              3                                    8

Face Off Wins                        28                                  33

Blocked Shots                         17                                  14

 

 

Goalie Stats:

Marc-Andre Fleury: 24 Saves on 26 Shots for a SV% of .923

Henrik Lundqvist: 23 Saves on 24 Shots for a SV% of .958

 

3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Chris Kreider: 1 Goal

2nd Star: Patric Hornqvist: 1 Goal

1st Star: Henrik Lundqvist: 23 Saves on 24 Shots for a SV% of .958

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