The New York Rangers have taken the first game of their second-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, despite coughing up a two-goal lead.
The Rangers, coming off a seven-game series win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Round One, opened the scoring, beating Marc-Andre Fleury on just the third shot of the hockey game, but needed overtime to defeat the Penguins by a final score of 3-2 on Friday.
Derick Brassard scored the winning goal at the 3:06 mark of the extra period. His shot beat Fleury on the stick side, however, because the puck hit up near the crossbar, play was allowed to continue. Benoit Pouliot buried the puck a few seconds later on a scramble in front of the Pittsburgh net, but, following a review, the goal was given to Brassard.
Here is an explanation from the NHL’s Situation Room Blog:
At 3:13 of overtime in the New York Rangers/Pittsburgh Penguins game, Benoit Pouliot’s shot appeared to end the game. However, video review determined that Derick Brassard’s shot at 3:06 of overtime hit the back bar of the net after it crossed the goal line. Therefore the official winning goal is credited to Brassard at 3:06. Good goal New York Rangers.
Make of this what you will, but that’s back-to-back games to begin the second round in the Eastern Conference, in which the visiting team has taken the first game of the semifinal series. The Montreal Canadiens stunned the Boston Bruins in overtime in their series-opener on Thursday.
The evening didn’t get off to a good start for Fleury, who was beaten twice on 13 first-period shots. New York’s second goal came just after a questionable offside call.
However, the Penguins managed to come back in the second period. Lee Stempniak got Pittsburgh on the board, before James Neal tied the game on a goal the Rangers protested – the thinking was that Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin knocked the puck out of the air with a high stick.
Fleury finished the game with 24 saves, while Henrik Lundqvist, under siege at times through the final two periods, made 34 saves for the win.