Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin score late, spark Penguins' overtime victory over Rangers
NEW YORK — In the second period, Sidney Crosby sat in the penalty box as the New York Rangers scored two goals to tilt momentum dramatically in their favor.
In the third period, Evgeni Malkin was so frustrated with some slashes linemate Phil Kessel was receiving, he started exchanging punches with Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
Those weren't the moments Crosby and Malkin were left lamenting after a loss, though.
They were the fuel the superstars used to get their team an improbable, if terribly imperfect, win.
Crosby scored the tying goal in the final minute of regulation, and Malkin netted the winner in the first minute of overtime, powering the Penguins to a 5-4 victory Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Penguins took eight minor penalties. They gave up four more goals to run their season total to 29 allowed in seven games.
They improved to 4-2-1 anyway.
“It was an ugly win, but it's a win,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “We know we have to improve and get better in a lot of areas.”
With the Rangers leading 4-3 in the final minute of regulation, Patric Hornqvist knocked down an airborn puck with his glove. Crosby, knowing a hand pass would be called if he touched the puck, waited for Shattenkirk to do the honors instead.
“Fortunately, he didn't hit it too far away, and I was able to shoot it after he did,” Crosby said.
Crosby banked the puck from behind the goal line in off goalie Henrik Lundqvist with 55.3 seconds to go.
“He banged it off me,” Lundqvist said. “It's not the first time that happened.”
The Penguins scored 58 seconds into overtime when Phil Kessel forced Ryan McDonagh into a shocking turnover behind his own net and fed Malkin at the right post for a slam dunk.
“A really, really bad hockey play by me,” McDonagh said.
Malkin, who tied Mario Lemieux's team record for most career overtime goals with 12, said he was fueled by the altercation he had with Shattenkirk about five minutes into the third period.
“It's good. Sometimes it gives me a little more push,” said Malkin, who retired to the locker room for medical attention afterwards but quickly returned to the ice. “A couple punches and I'm ready to play next shift.”
The Penguins got off to a strong start, taking a 2-0 lead in the first period.
On the second shift of the game, Kessel skated up the right wing and beat Lundqvist inside the far post with his trademark wrist shot. Later, Carl Hagelin beat his former Rangers teammate to the short side from the same spot on the ice.
“Our first period was actually pretty good,” Hornqvist said.
Their second period was a mess.
Thirty seconds after David Desharnais made it 2-1 about six minutes in, Crosby took a double minor when, while following through on a backhand pass, his stick rode up Jimmy Vesey's stick and clocked the Rangers winger in the face.
The Rangers scored on both halves of the four-minute power play on goals by Pavel Buchnevich and J.T. Miller.
“I don't know if I agreed with the calls, but yeah, you never like being in the box and seeing a couple go in,” Crosby said. “I think you come out of there pretty motivated when you see that happen.”
The Penguins took two more penalties later in the period – slashes by Crosby and Hagelin – but killed off more than 90 seconds of two-man advantage time and responded with a Hornqvist goal from the top of the crease on the power play to make it 3-3.
“That's huge for us,” Hornqvist said. “The bench was fired up.”