After dominating most of the game, the New York Rangers could barely hang on for a 2-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3.
By Robby Sabo
As all of Blueshirts faithful watched their New York Rangers through the final period of their 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Metropolitan Semifinals, they felt like they were watching the John Tortorella-coached squad from years back.
The offensive attack suddenly stopped and the defensive collapse suddenly ramped up. Henrik Lundqvist and a scrambling defense were the only things left between a surging Pens team and overtime.
Regardless, it was Alaign Vigneault’s Rangers who dominated most of the game and now take a 2-1 series lead.
Carl Hagelin struck first. At the 8:43 mark of the first period, defenseman Keith Yandle found a streaking Hags at the center of the blueline. He slapped one five-hole past Marc-Andre Fluery to give New York a 1-0 lead.
— NHL (@NHL) April 20, 2015
The Rangers were so good that the Penguins incredibly didn’t register their first shot until 15:10 of the first frame.
The second period featured most of the same Rangers dominance. Almost halfway through, Marc Staal intentionally slapped a pass/shot to the left of Fleury which bounced right to Chris Kreider in front of the net for a tip-in goal.
The third is when the game completely flipped upside down as Sidney Crosby started to get things going.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 21, 2015
In the end though, the defense and responsible play from the Rangers proved to be too much. Guys like Dominic Moore, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Jesper Fast made sure Pittsburgh couldn’t find that tying goal.
Lundqvist finished the night with 23 saves. Fluery, once again, proved to be Pittsburgh’s best player. He stopped 24 Rangers shots, most of which came in the first two periods, and allowed his team a chance to remain competitive.
Game 4 is slated for Wednesday night at the Igloo.
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