EditorsNote: rewords third graf, fixes “Alexandar” in fifth graf
Rookie Kaapo Kakko scored twice, including the game-winning goal at 2:24 of overtime, as the host New York Rangers survived squandering a two-goal lead and edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The Rangers improved to 6-2-1 in their past nine games thanks to Kakko’s first career two-goal game.
The Penguins nearly won it when Evgeni Malkin got the puck moments before Kakko’s overtime goal, but Malkin was unable to maintain control. The loose puck went to New York rookie defenseman Adam Fox, who quickly skated from the defensive zone into the offensive zone.
Fox waited for Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray to go down and threaded a slick cross-ice pass from the middle of the ice to Kakko, who deflected the puck into the vacated right side of the net.
Kakko and Fox scored in the opening period for the Rangers, who also got a 30-save performance from goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Artemi Panarin had an assist and extended his points streak to nine games.
Defenseman Justin Schultz scored in the second period and Jared McCann tied the game with a power-play goal that ended Pittsburgh’s 0-for-28 drought with the man advantage. Malkin also had an assist for the Penguins, who played without Sidney Crosby (lower-body injury) for the first time this season and nearly completed a third straight comeback.
Murray finished with 24 saves for Pittsburgh, which is 4-1-2 in its past seven contests and will be without Crosby for at least one more game.
The Rangers took the lead 6:42 into the game when Kakko finished off a breakaway, and then went up 2-0 with 11 seconds left in the first when Fox finished off a nifty feed from Panarin with a wrist shot from the right side of the crease.
Schultz made it a one-goal game 73 seconds in with a wrist shot from the left circle. The Penguins tied it when McCann ended their power-play drought by getting his wrist shot to deflect off Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei’s skate and into the net with 7:27 left in the second period.
—Field Level Media