Chris Kreider scores twice, Rangers edge out 4-2 win over battle-tested Penguins

Rangers get 4-2 win over Pittsburgh
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 16, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
AP Photos

Madison Square Garden – There’s no love lost when the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers battle it out on the ice. 

Thursday night at the Garden was no exception. 

Chris Kreider scored twice in the final period, and Igor Shesterkin tallied 28 saves in the Rangers’ 4-2 win over the rival Penguins in the third matchup of the season between last year’s playoff foes. 

“The lines are playing good. Everybody’s working together and there’s a lot less turnovers. That’s a big part of it but we played a really solid game today.” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said after the win. 

Similar to how they started on Tuesday, New York came out to the home crowd on a tear. An Artemi Panarin outlet pass to Mika Zibanejad got the scoring started for the Blueshirts, and sent the home crowd into a frenzy. 

From there on though, it was a goaltender duel between Igor Shesterkin and Tristan Jarry making splendid saves on both sides of the ice. 

The standoff wouldn’t be broken until late in the second period when a K’Andre Miller turnover gave Sidney Crosby the puck behind the net, and the superstar found Rickard Rakell for the tying score. The Rangers would end up responding just two minutes later when Tyler Motte would score his first regular-season goal as a member of the New York Rangers to give the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead after two. 

“We know our identity. It may have taken a few games to find it but we know what works. Now we’ve got to continue to push on the forecheck and stay reliable defensively.” Motte said after the win. 

But the back-and-forth contest would bleed into the final period as well. Crosby would find Jake Guentzel in front of the net for his second assist of the night and a tied score at two midway through the period. 

It wasn’t until Chris Kreider chipped in a deflected Adam Fox shot, and put forth the empty netter until the Rangers were able to outlast and outbattle their bitter rivals. 

“This time of year there aren’t many teams that are out of it. You know teams are going to bring their best this time of year. These have been good and intense games and we’ve been able to bring it recently.” Fox explained. 

The win moved the Rangers to 20 games over .500 with a 39-19-10 record. New York and Pittsburgh will battle again on Saturday night at MSG at 8:00PM – ET. 

Game Notes

  • Ryan Lindgren continues to be day-to-day and was out for his ninth straight contest with an upper-body injury. Gallant explained that the defenseman was still “day-to-day” but skated on his own Thursday morning. 
  • Zibanejad’s first-period goal was his 200th as a member of the Rangers and gave him 35 on the season. It was his second straight game recording a score and the fourth point tallied by the veteran in his last four contests. 
  • Igor Shesterkin had shaken off a struggling month of February and has been on quite the tear lately. Thursday’s win moved the reigning Vezina winner to 5-1 in his last six starts with a save percentage over .910%

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