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New York Rangers Smothered By The Pittsburgh Penguins In Game 3 (Highlights)

Not even a returning Ryan McDonagh could save the New York Rangers as they fell in defeat in Game 3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1.

  • New York Rangers 1 (1-2)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (2-1)
  • East Div. Semi-Final Game 3, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Just around 6:30 PM ET time, fans of the New York Rangers were joyous. The faithful had just received word that their captain, Ryan McDonagh, was, indeed, going to make his first appearance of the series.

Madison Square Garden was rocking.

There was just one little problem for New Yorkers: What started as a celebratory and ferocious evening turned out to be a frustrating affair.

The Rangers fell to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins by the final of score of 3-1 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Divisional Semi-Finals.

For a team who’s defensive grouping has usually shouldered much of the blame, it turned out to be the offense who couldn’t get it done on this night. The Blueshirts tallied a mere 17 shots on goal.

The only shot to get past Pittsburgh’s starting goaltender on the night, Matt Murray, who made his first appearance in the series a memorable one, was the first goal of the game, courtesy of Rick Nash while shorthanded:

Although that first strike came in the second period, New York thought they had scored in the first frame when Chris Kreider somehow slapped one in the net. However, Pens head coach Mike Sullivan challenged an offside on J.T. Miller and came away happy.

The turning point seemed to come when former Ranger Carl Hagelin drew a questionable Marc Staal hooking penalty late in the second period. The Penguins capitalized on the ensuing power-play as Crosby deflected home his second of the series:

From that moment on the Rangers had literally no time to even breathe. The third period saw a pathetic four shots on net by the Blueshirts.

The eventual game-winner came courtesy of the bumbling and fumbling of the defensive pairing of Keith Yandle and Dan Boyle. They collided with each other and Matt Cullen buried the game-winner just 4:16 into the third period:

It was a defensive battle to the bitter end. One that saw some physical play on both sides, but one that the Pens are more suited to carry out every night.

All-world defenseman Kris Letang added an empty-netter with just 13 seconds in regulation.

Henrik Lundqvist was pretty sharp all night. He stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced.

With the Rangers now trailing 2-1 in the series, a date on Thursday night at MSG in Game 4 is as close to a must-win as can be.

3 Stars of the Game:

  1. M. Cullen (Penguins – C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0
  2. R. Nash (Rangers – LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0
  3. M. Murray (Penguins – G): Saves: 16, Save Pct.: .941

NEXT: Look Who Took The Subway To MSG For Game 3 (Photo)

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com