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Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad lead New York Rangers to Game 6 comeback win

New York Rangers
New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider (20) celebrates after scoring against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second period in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The New York Rangers aren’t going down without a fight. 

The young Blue Shirts rallied for the second consecutive game behind two goals to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 and force a Game 7. It was Chris Kreider’s goal late in the third period that helped tilt the game in New York’s favor and force the first Game 7 for the Rangers since Game 7. 

The goal was Kreider’s fourth of the playoffs and came on a fluky shot from the point by the Rangers star deflected over the shoulder of Louis Domingue. The puck then trickled just over the goal line for a goal that Domingue clearly wanted to have back to give New York the 4-3 lead. 

Andrew Copp scored an empty netter at the 19:33 mark of the third to secure the win. 

The Rangers had trailed in the series 3-1 after dropping back-to-back games in Pittsburgh, which saw New York starter Igor Shesterkin being driven from the net in Game 3 and Game 4. Friday night was the second time in the series that the Blue Shirts have battled back against the Penguins. 

New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates with Chris Kreider (20) after scoring for the second time against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series.AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Game 7 will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York. 

Kreider and Mika Zibanejad each scored twice for the Rangers. Shesterkin made 31 saves in the Game 6 win at PPG Paints Arena. 

It was a pair of first-period goals that put the Penguins in the driver’s seat. It was a loose puck that found the stick of Jeff Carter in front of the Rangers’ net that made its way into the net at the 14:12 mark of the first period. 

Just over a minute later, Bryan Rust finished off a cross-ice pass from Jake Guentzel to put Pittsburgh up 2-0 and send the home crowd into a frenzy. The goals were Carter and Rust’s fourth and second goals of the series respectively. 

It was in the second period when the Rangers mounted their comeback with the power play coming up huge. Zibanejad fired a quick shot from the slot just five seconds into the man-advantage to cut the deficit to 2-1. 

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It was the 6:21 mark of the second when Zibanejad scored his second of the game and of the series on blast from the point that snuck through traffic. New York took a 3-2 lead briefly after Kreider scored his second of the night at the 13: 48 mark on a spinning shot off a rebound, but the Penguins tied the game off a goal by Malkin after the Pittsburgh star forced a turnover and scored on the breakaway. 

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby did not play on Friday night and Brian Boyle left after hitting Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in the first period. 

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