RangersNHL Regular Season RankingsPenguins
7thNHL Standing Rank12th
RangersNHL Postseason RankingsPenguins

Previous Game

               The Blueshirts suffered heartbreak as they fell 4-3 in triple overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a very intense game with the speed of the game being played at a high level. The Rangers got goals from Adam Fox, Andrew Copp, and Chris Kreider.

               With the game tied 3-3, the Blueshirts thought they found a winner with under four minutes left in the third period. Kaapo Kakko got around Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin and drove the net hard. Dumoulin made contact with Kakko and both players collided with Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith. Kakko would make a second effort to get the puck to Chytil while flat on the ice who slotted it into the empty net. After initially being ruled as a goal on the ice, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan challenged the call and he ended up being successful and the goal was chalked off.

               “I’d like to say I do (have an issue with the call),” said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant. “But you know what, it was going the other way in a 3-3 hockey game and to me, it was a 50-50 call and I sort of felt it was going to go against us. I can’t argue with that.”

               After carefully played overtime by both teams with few chances exchanged each way, the game headed to double overtime. In double overtime, the story was that DeSmith pulled himself from the game. Whether it was cramps, fatigue, or something completely different – the Penguins are describing it as a lower-body injury. Louis Domingue entered the game in double-overtime and Pittsburgh got more aggressive.

               The game would move to triple overtime where the Penguins would capitalize on the Rangers not being able to clear the puck. A shot from the point got redirected by Evgeni Malkin and the game was finally over. In the end, it’s fair to say it was a pretty even game that could have gone either way, but ultimately the team that looked just a half-second quicker at times – won the game.

               Igor Shesterkin was outstanding in goal for the Rangers. In his playoff debut, Shesterkin recorded 79 saves on 83 shots in a world-class performance. Shesterkin’s 79 saves are the second-most in NHL history behind Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Korpisalo recorded 85 saves in the bubble in game one against Tampa Bay in a game that went to five overtimes.  

Injury updates from Game One


Ryan Lindgren – left the game with an injury, reentered the game, and left the game again. Lindgren is dealing with a lower-body injury. Gallant said “We’ll know more tomorrow,”


Casey DeSmith – day-to-day with a lower-body injury

Ricard Rakell – No update on Rakell was given as he left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.

Game 2

               The Rangers will look to even the series on home ice before heading to Pittsburgh. Heading to Pittsburgh down 2-0 in the series will be tough to come back from. The biggest problem the Blueshirts had in game one was dealing with the Penguins’ top line consisting of Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby, and Bryan Rust. The number one goal should be figuring out how to slow down this trio as they were all over the Blueshirts in game one. When Crosby’s line was on the ice, they out-chanced the Rangers 28-2.

               The biggest question for the Penguins will be who will start in goal? Tristan Jarry had been ruled out for games one and two – is it possible he could come back early? DeSmith left the previous game in double-overtime limping and it’s not known if he will be available for the Penguins in game two. If neither netminder is available, Domingue will get the start for Pittsburgh. Domingue has a career save percentage of .905.

               Lindgren, who was in and out of the game on Tuesday, is expected to be available on Thursday for game two. Gallant told the media, “(he’s) a bit banged up.” If Lindgren were to be unavailable, expect Patrik Nemeth to play with Adam Fox and Justin Braun to come into the lineup and play with Braden Schneider.

               Shesterkin will get the start for the Rangers as expected. Despite facing 83 shots, Gallant told the media on Wednesday, “He should be ready to go tomorrow.”

Goaltending Stats

Shesterkin: 79 saves on 83 shots – .952 save percentage and a 2.29 goals-against average

DeSmith – 48 saves on 51 shots – .941 save percentage and a 2.02 goals-against average

Domingue – 17 saves on 17 shots – 1.000 save percentage and a 0.00 goals-against average

Key to the Game

The key to the game for the Rangers will be getting back to what they were doing in the first period. The Blueshirts were willed with adrenaline and energy and were flat-out dominating the Penguins. They were getting pucks in deep and causing all sorts of problems on an effective forecheck. Ryan Reaves was hitting people hard and clean and it was clear that he was in the head of Penguins players. Players were often looking to see if they would get hit rather than playing the puck and making a play. The Blueshirts need to get the forecheck going once again and keep that tempo for the entire game.

Projected Lineup










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