Malkin scores winner in crushing Game 1 loss to New York Rangers in triple OT

It took three extra time to designate a winner, but in the end Game 1 between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins went to the visitors.

Evgeni Malkin fired a shot from the 5:58 point into overtime to take the series opener over the Rangers, 4-3. Pittsburgh dug the puck behind the Rangers’ net, eventually shoving the puck to the point for John Marino.

The shot just caught Malkin’s stick and went off New York Rangers starter Igor Shesterkin, who had put in an impressive 79 performance in his first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Loss trailed the Rangers in their first round series with the Penguins 0-1.

“Great game. Great game from two teams,” said New York head coach Gerard Gallant. “The first 25 minutes we thought we were really good and dominated that part of the game. Then they came back in second and they played really well after that too. It’s one of those games and of course three extras, it’s hard to lose like that, but you get back on the horse and get ready for the next game.”

Tuesday’s epic three-time market is the first time since the 2012 playoffs that the Blues went three extra periods to determine a winner. They defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 that season in triple OT in Game 3 of the second round.

It also marked the first triple-overtime game at Madison Square Garden, where its first NHL postseason game in five years had been held on Tuesday, since April 29, 1971.

“I thought we fought hard, we did a lot of good things. Obviously in triple overtime anything can happen,” said Ryan Strome. “They got the first one, but I think we’re pretty sure we enter game 2. It’s going to be a fun one.”

New York Rangers
New York Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin (31) covers the puck for Pittsburgh Penguins center Evan Rodrigues (9) and defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) during the opening period of game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Shesterkin faced one of the most challenging games he has had in his fledgling NHL career. The 79 rescue attempt set a new franchise record and also put him on a shortlist of players who racked up such a large number of saves.

He became only the eighth goalkeeper in NHL history to make more than 65 saves in a playoff game, surpassing Gump Worsley for the franchise record for most saves in a playoff game.

“I mean, he made like 80 saves or whatever it was, so obviously he was good,” Strome said of Shesterkin. “I mean, he’s been doing it all year. He is our best player and he showed that tonight. He made everything he needed to do and we couldn’t get one for him.”

The New York Rangers opened the scoring 20 seconds after their first power play of the game. Fox fired a shot from the point that made its way through traffic and past Pittsburgh Penguins starter Casey DeSmith. The goal was Fox’s first career playoff goal and continued the Rangers’ success on the regular season man advantage.

New York gave itself a 2:0 lead of 3:08 into the second period when Copp cut off a feed from Ryan Strome. The Pittsburgh Penguins answered less than two minutes later when Jake Guentzel scored on the sidewalk.

Sidney Crosby made a nice cross-ice pass to Guentzel, who tapped the puck under Shesterkin’s leg to narrow the Rangers’ lead to just one.

The pair teamed up again at 11:47am of the period to put the game at two when Crosby made another great pass on the ice to Guentzel, who buried the break past Shesterkin’s gauntlet.

The Rangers regained the lead late in the mid-frame when Kreider and Zibanejad scored an impressive short goal together. The Blues managed to win a face-off at their end and Zibanejad came charging out of the zone and into the Penguins’ end.

He was able to pass the puck to Kreider, who backhanded the puck past DeSmith. The goal sent the Garden into a frenzy.

The excitement was short-lived, however, after the Rangers were booked for a disturbance on Jacob Trouba, which gave Pittsburgh a five-on-three lead. The Penguins made quick work of the advantage, playing a precise pass that ended with a goal from Rust from the side of the net.

It looked like the Rangers took a late lead as Kaapo Kakko drove to the net and tangled with DeSmith, but the puck was able to pass to Filip Chytil. The Blue Shirt youngster was able to put the puck into the open net. However, the game was challenged and eventually destroyed after the Pittsburgh goalkeeper was judged to have been hindered.

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The already physical affair took on an even more edgy note late in the first period when Ryan Lindgren struck a heavy blow to Rickard Rakell that sent him to the ice. The goal sparked a scrum that erupted and eventually officials called Lindgren for a five-minute major.

After the refs watched the game, it was downgraded to a rough penalty. Rakell did not return for the remainder of the game.

The New York Rangers may have injured themselves with Lingren, who was in and out of the game. Gallant said he was lower body and hoped to have more information on Wednesday.

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