Mika Zibanejad
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

For the first time in a while, the New York Rangers showed some fight, coming back to win a game where they never led behind rookie Alexandar Georgiev.

It was a battle between rookie goaltenders as the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins faced off for the final time this season with the home team taking it 4-3 in overtime.

Alexandar Georgiev was starting in his second consecutive game as he continues to impress head coach Alain Vigneault. His 37 saves against this Penguins offense does not go unnoticed as Georgiev might just steal the backup job from Ondrej Pavelec.

Coming into the night, Georgiev was facing a dangerous Pittsburgh team, giving him his first real test in the NHL. He was up to the task making 14 saves in a scoreless first period.

Both teams would fail to convert in the period, but Pittsburgh would control play outshooting the Blueshirts 8-2 at one point in the period and 14-7 after 20 minutes.

Despite the strong first, Georgiev didn’t get much help in the second where he surrendered two goals.


Brady Skjei lost his man and in an effort to get back into position collided with Georgiev. That collision was just enough allowing the Brandon Rust’s shot to get past the 22-year-old goaltender and give Pittsburgh the 1-0 lead early in the second.

Fifty-five seconds later, Pittsburgh would go double their lead.

It appeared that the shot taken by Kris Letang from the point was deflected by Riley Sheahan and past Georgiev. Pittsburgh took all momentum that Georgiev allowed the Rangers to gain away not even three minutes into the second.

But the Rangers did regroup and would have some quality chances. But the Penguin rookie goaltender Casey DeSmith had the answer making 16 saves through two periods, nine in the second.

Trailing in the third, the Rangers fought back. It all began on the power play with Chris Kreider working in front of DeSmith and banking in the rebound to start the comeback.

With the Rangers still trailing, DeSmith would rob Jesper Fast of the game-tying goal, but Fast would have the last laugh deflecting Marc Staal’s shot to tie the game at two.

Pittsburgh would end up taking the lead again as Georgiev let in a goal that he most definitely wants back.

But goals like this are a part of the learning curve when young players are in net. He didn’t let it bother him and his teammates would pick him, this time it was Mika Zibanejad.

Zibanejad finished a beautiful rush by Kreider and the Rangers would come back for the second time in the night to tie things at three.

With the Penguins mistakes must be rare and Georgiev made a big one. He was called for delay of game as the referee determined that he intentionally pushed the net off its moorings resulting in a penalty shot for Pittsburgh.

Georgiev continued to show his composure and would stop Evgeni Malkin on the penalty shot to force overtime.

In overtime, Georgiev continued to play lights out.

But tonight was Zibanejad’s and Georgiev’s night, as Zibanejad would net his 100th career goal and the overtime winner.

This was a great comeback win for a young Rangers team as some of the young players on this roster got to show some resiliency and it paid off in the end.

The Blueshirts will next be in action Saturday in St. Louis.

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