Both teams traded goals in the first period. Chris Kreider scored on the rush 7:36 into the game to open the scoring, pulling the trigger on a high and hard shot that blew past Tristan Jarry.
The Pens would manage to hang tough and found an equalizer late in the first period. It was Danton Heinen in front on the power play who chipped the puck barely into the net. It wasn’t noticed at first and play continued until the officials corrected the mistake and awarded the goal.
THAT'S HEIN-EN THE NET!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 16, 2022
The Penguins even the score at 1-1 on the power play. Carter and Rodrigues pick up the assists. pic.twitter.com/1O5x0sVKK7
In the second period, Pittsburgh would take the lead. Jake Guentzel made a great skills play to kick the puck up to himself and bat it out of mid-air, past the extended arm of Igor Shesterkin and into the net. There was a lengthy review to see if Guentzel’s stick was at or above the cross-bar when it contacted the puck, but video could not over-turn the call on the ice of a good goal, so the Pens would take the 2-1 lead.
CAN WE TALK ABOUT JAKE GUENTZEL'S HAND-EYE COORDINATION!? pic.twitter.com/blhMaosdhT— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 16, 2022
That first lead of the game only lasted 65 seconds. A shot from distance by K’Andre Miller clicked off the skate of Mike Matheson in front of the net and trickled in to pull NYR up to a 2-2 tie.
With Bryan Rust in the penalty box for a cross-checking minor, Evan Rodrigues would tip the game back towards the Pens. He knocked down a Ranger pass and took off to the races. Fighting off the back pressure from Miller, Rodrigues was able to get a bit of velocity on a backhanded chop and the puck popped over Shesterkin and into the net to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead with 2:36 remaining in the second.
LIGHTNING SPEED.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 16, 2022
EVAN RODRIGUES IS DOING IT ALL. pic.twitter.com/8QbbsjjrvH
The Rangers would once again fight and tie the game a second time. The Pens got out of sorts in their own end, Marcus Pettersson had to leave the ice after getting his helmet ripped off (seems unfair!) and Pittsburgh never recovered. Mika Zibanejad received a little pass from Andrew Copp and fired a shot over Jarry’s shoulder to give the Rangers life.
Early in overtime, Brock McGinn made a poor turnover and then took a clear penalty on the rush the other way. The Rangers’ ensuing power play would end the Pens’ season, as they took their time setting up shots in the offensive zone and Artemi Panarin whipped a hard shot through traffic that eluded Jarry and ended the game, and Penguins season.
- With an unfortunate and sad end to a season (and series where the Pens played really well, but couldn’t quite get the results), there will be plenty of time in the days and weeks and months ahead to ponder what could be coming next in what might be a summer of seismic change for the Pittsburgh hockey club. For now though, on behalf of the staff thank you for reading and being a part of the ride of another Penguin NHL season.