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Penguins vs. Rangers recap: Speed kills. Pens beat Rangers 3-2 in OT

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers for the 3rd time in the last 24 days with a 3-2 overtime win. Come relive the great performances by Kessel, Hagelin, Cullen, Crosby and Letang here!

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

An overtime game doesn't bode well for the Penguins in their chase of the Rangers, but oh well, playing 2 road games in 2 days, getting a win on the road doesn't sound bad and will at help the Pens stay out of the wildcard at least.

8 wins in the last 9, some strong play by the Kessel/Hagelin line, plus Sid and Letang finishing it off..Plenty of good stuff

The Highlights

The Rangers strike early 4:19 into the game, Kevin Hayes throws a puck to the middle and Eric Staal races by Trevor Daley and only needs 1 hand to stab the puck by Marc-Andre Fleury.

Matt Cullen ties it up for the Penguins in the 1st period, nice job by Derrick Pouliot to get a puck on net, and Cullen redirects the high shot down, beating Henrik Lundqvist between the legs and then slamming it home for good measure. 1-1 after one.

NY came out strong in the second and Pittsburgh looked a little lost defensively. Bryan Rust skates by a puck and they swing it down to Staal who slipped away from Pouliot and slammed his second goal of the game home.

The Pens would strike back, after Lundqvist lazily plays a puck to the corner his old teammate Carl Hagelin catches up to it and throws it on net. Lundqvist awkwardly stops the puck but leaves a big rebound that Phil Kessel catches up to and goes back-hand shelf to tie the game at 2.

We go to overtime and the Penguins get the win after Letang flips a shot on net that Sidney Crosby appears to deflect in (if it didn't hit the Rangers defenseman. Either way, it's a win.

Some Thoughts

  • Yesterday's game was fairly non-taxing, but I'll never see the wisdom in playing Fleury back-to-back and 3 in 4 this time of year. The games are important, but in Matt Murray the Penguins have a more than capable backup. He's there to be used.
  • And that's said as an independent thought from Fleury's play. He didn't have much of a chance of stopping the first 2 goals he allowed, and made a great stop in the 2nd on Staal again. I say it more in terms of an eye to a future. Does Fleury play 4 times in 6 days on Tuesday? 5 and 8 on Thursday? Is that how the team wants to go down the stretch to start a playoff workload so early and needlessly and hope he doesn't wear down physically or mentally over as many as the next 12 weeks?
  • Kessel was feeling it big-time in the 2nd. Scored the goal, then jumped in the zone and hit the crossbar square on his favorite "skate real hard down the right wing and snap a shot" move. Then later in the 2nd he blew right by no less than Ryan McDonagh to get another hard shot on net on the rush.
  • It sounds ridiculous but the difference of Carl Hagelin on the Rangers and Carl Hagelin on the Penguins has seemed to tip the balance of which team's forwards are better.
  • The Penguins don't get their first power play until half-way through the 3rd and then do very little with it.
  • Chris Kunitz was able to play today after getting dinged yesterday and he nearly won the game for the Pens when he hit the post with about a minute to go. So close, yet so far.
  • Today in ridiculous Kris Letang stories: Letang played a 3 minute shift (without a whistle) in over-time. The Pens were on the power play for the first 2, but then got pinned in their zone and he really didn't even look all that worse for wear. Then he's back out there for the game winner.
  • Nice to see the Pens play a strong game after losing 2 top-4 defensemen in the last 2 games. All looked stable enough, a testament to their depth and players playing bigger roles.