Though Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith was out with an apparent injury and brought in a cold Louis Domingue in the second OT, Pittsburgh still emerged from the series with a 4-3 win and a 1-0 lead after Evgeni Malkin’s shot from the Point deflected just under six minutes into the third overtime.
Much earlier, the Rangers and the crowd at Madison Square Garden collectively held their breath and stared up at the Jumbotron as the potential game-winning goal was checked.
Kaapo Kakko had just pushed his way into the Penguins’ net and made significant contact with DeSmith with the help of Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin before playing a backhand pass while falling to Filip Chytil for the wide open goal that saw a 3 -3 would have broken the tie in favor of Rangers with just over three minutes left in regular time.
For Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, appealing for goaltender inference was an easy decision.
And when referee Chris Lee ran to the middle ice and announced “no goal”, the Garden fans showed their displeasure. The boos rained down from the blue seats, covering the ice with disappointment.
MSG’s first Stanley Cup playoff game since May 9, 2017 went into overtime. And then double overtime, the first at the Garden since April 20, 2011. And then the first triple overtime since Game 3 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
It looked like another Rangers team took the ice in the second half.
After dominating the Penguins at every crevice of the Garden ice for the first 20 minutes, resulting in a 1-0 lead for the home side, the Rangers doubled their score early in the second period. Ryan Strome fed Andrew Copp for the one-timer in the slot at 3:08.
From then on it was all Pittsburgh. Rangers lost the leap they had in the first and gave up any hold they had on the pace of the game. As expected, Penguins star Sidney Crosby played a big part in the drastic change.
Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, who finished with a franchise-record 79 saves in his first legitimate playoff game, came by in time to rob Kris Letang just after Copp’s goal. But the Penguins turned the puck around again and Jake Guentzel sank a simple shot all by himself up front to reduce the Rangers lead to 2-1.
Crosby then sent an effortless backhand lead pass for Guentzel, who tied the game by two with his second of the night at 8:13 of the middle frame.
The Rangers struggled to maintain possession of the puck, which was evident in the back-to-back penalties they shot. With Patrik Nemeth in the box for his second penalty of the game, Mika Zibanejad shoved the puck onto the ice before serving up Chris Kreider for a beautiful shorthanded goal which he completed with his backhand to make it 3-2 at 17 to do: 07.
When Jacob Trouba was called to board Guentzel about 40 seconds later, the Penguins held a five-on-three advantage for 44 seconds. A tic-tac-toe passing sequence from Pittsburgh led to Bryan Rust’s evening, who scored again at 1:30 in the second period.
The Rangers went into overdrive in the first half, hitting every penguin in sight and unleashing a relentless forecheck that left the visitors with no choice but to scoot and chase. Penguins defender John Marino might have needed an ice bath on the first break considering how many massive hits he absorbed.
Alexis Lafreniere ran through Marino to get things going on his first shift. And every time Ryan Reaves approached a Penguins player, the Garden crowd would hum in anticipation.
The Rangers seemed to feed on it. After Teddy Bleuger was called on to slash at 8:58 a.m. to give Rangers their first power play of the night, Adam Fox drove one through traffic from the top of the zone for a 1-0 lead.
Rangers’ tough play culminated near the end of the first frame when Ryan Lindgren turned Pittsburgh’s trade deadline acquisition on its head Rickard Rakell, who was slow to get up and then stayed in the dressing room for the rest of the game. Lindgren was given a major penalty first, but it was reduced to two minutes and the Penguins failed to capitalize on the power play.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/04/rangers-suffer-crushing-triple-ot-loss-to-penguins-in-game-1/ Rangers suffer a crushing triple overtime loss to Penguins in Game 1