Rangers blow late lead, fall to Penguins in shootout
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PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang scored in the final round of a shootout to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
Letang ripped a backhand over Igor Shesterkin to put the Penguins in front. Tristan Jarry collected his first win of the season when he stuffed New York’s Tony DeAngelo moments later.
Bryan Rust and Jared McCann collected their first goals of the season for Pittsburgh, which has won three straight following an 0-2 start. Teddy Blueger also scored, and Jarry finished with 31 saves.
Filip Chytil, Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko scored for New York, which blew a 3-1 lead. Shesterkin made 26 stops but let in two of the three shots he faced in the shootout.
Rangers rookie Alex Lafreniere, the top pick in the 2020 draft, is still looking for his first NHL point despite moving to New York’s top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Lafreniere didn’t record a shot on goal and was on the ice for a pair of Penguin goals.
Pittsburgh rookie defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph played 13:02 in his NHL debut and picked up the primary assist on Blueger’s goal that tied it just past the midway point of the third period. Joseph, part of the trade that sent Phil Kessel to Arizona in June 2019, was forced into action following injuries to Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola.
Jarry, given two games off after a pair of shaky performances in Philadelphia to start the season, stopped two Rangers breakaways in the first. Rust put the Penguins in front, but the Rangers grabbed control in a span of 3:01 in the second.
Chytil scored 2:41 into the period when Pittsburgh defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Chad Ruhwedel ran into each other in the left circle. Chytil grabbed the loose puck and walked in alone on Jarry, putting together a pretty deke to pull the Rangers even at 1.
Fox gave the Rangers the lead when he blasted a shot from the point past Jarry 5:18 into the second. Kakko needed just 24 seconds to extend the advantage to two goals when a rebound off a shot by Phillip Di Giuseppe landed right on Kakko’s stick in front. He slammed it home and the Penguins found themselves down two goals for the fourth time in their five games this season.
And just as they did during an improbable overtime victory over Washington on Tuesday, they clawed their way back to even. The Rangers gifted McCann his first goal in more than a year when New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren inadvertently swept a centering pass from McCann past Shesterkin with 3:04 remaining in the second.
Jarry made a couple of big saves early in the third and Blueger tied it 11:23 into the third when a blast from the point by Joseph smacked off the end boards behind the net and right to Blueger just outside the crease.
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