NEW YORK (AP) — Mika Zibanejad scored the tying goal late in the third period and then got the winner 2:53 into overtime to rally the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Chris Kreider had a goal and three assists for his first career four-point night, and Jesper Fast also scored to help the Rangers get their second straight win after a three-game skid. Neal Pionk had three assists and Alexandar Georgiev, making his second consecutive start, finished with 37 saves.
On the winner, Zibanejad took a nice pass from Kreider and snuck a wrist shot past Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith for his 100th career goal.
Bryan Rust, Riley Sheahan and Carl Hagelin scored for the Penguins, who lost for just the fifth time in their last 15 games (10-4-1). DeSmith, filling in for injured starter Matt Murray, stopped 29 shots in his ninth career start. Murray has missed eight straight games after a concussion during practice Feb. 26.
Evgeni Malkin had a chance to win the game in the final 11 seconds when the referees awarded the Penguins a penalty shot because Georgiev knocked the net off the moorings with under two minutes remaining but the rookie goalie stopped Malkin with his right pad to force overtime.
The Rangers, who are likely going to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010, are 2-0-1 in their last three games, and 5-2-2 in their last nine. New York is seven points out of the last postseason spot in the Eastern Conference with 11 games remaining.
The Rangers erased two deficits in the third period with three goals to earn a point. Kreider got a power-play goal at 8:42 of the third, before Fast tied it 4-4 with less than seven minutes remaining.
However, Pittsburgh regained the lead when Hagelin finished a wraparound with 4:19 to go.
Rust opened the scoring with his 11th of the season at 1:53 of the second period when his wrist shot sailed past the Georgiev’s glove to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Rust, 25, returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a concussion. Former Blueshirt Derick Brassard assisted on the play.
Just 55 seconds later, Sheahan made it 2-0 with his 10th as he crashed the net and redirected Kris Letang’s shot. Carter Rowney also assisted on the play, registering his first point since Dec. 18, ending a 21-game pointless streak.
NOTES: Susan Sarandon served as celebrity guest ‘Inside the Glass’ analyst alongside Pierre McGuire during the first period on the NBCSN telecast. … Murray joined his teammates during the morning skate but a timetable for his return is still unclear. … Pittsburgh reassigned forward Josh Jooris to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League to make room for Rust. . Kevin Hayes skated in his 299th career NHL game, while Mika Zibanejad participated in his 398th NHL game. … Prior to the game, Rangers announced defenseman Tony DeAngelo suffered a sprained ankle and will miss the next three-four weeks essentially ending his season.
Penguins: At Montreal on Thursday night.
Rangers: At St. Louis on Saturday.
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