Penguins pull away from Rangers in third, 7-4

Danton Heinen scored a tiebreaking goal at 11:02 of the third period Saturday as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the visiting New York Rangers 7-4 for a 2-1 first-round playoff series lead.

After the Rangers erased a three-goal deficit to tie it 4-4, Heinen caught up with a loose puck that squirted out of a tangle in the corner and, from the right circle, ripped it between the pads of goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.

Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter, with his second of the game, added empty-netters to seal it.

Evan Rodrigues had two goals and an assist, Brock McGinn also scored, and Mike Matheson added three helpers and Sidney Crosby two for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh goaltender Louis Domingue made 32 saves and had an assist.

Kaapo Kakko, Frank Vatrano, Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp scored for the Rangers.

New York starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin got pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots in the first. Georgiev, in his NHL playoff debut, made 19 saves.

The Penguins got the first goal of the game and their first lead of the series at 1:57 of the first.

McGinn’s shot from deep off Shesterkin originally was waived off because the net came off its moorings, but upon review it was determined New York’s Patrik Nemeth had knocked it off.

At 5:08 of the first, Kakko scored on a rising shot from the right circle to tie it for the Rangers.

During a power play, a shot by Rodrigues went in off Carter to put Pittsburgh back on top 2-1 at 8:18 of the first.

Again on a power play, Pittsburgh pushed it to 3-1 at 10:31 of the first when Rodrigues chipped the puck past Shesterkin’s blocker.

Rodrigues struck again at 15:15 of the first, converting a feed from Brian Boyle to make it 4-1.

New York cut it to 4-2 at 6:51 of the second when Vatrano deposited a one-timer, and Panarin roofed a shot past Domingue at 7:58, making it 4-3.

New York tied it at 15:59 of the second when Copp batted the puck in as Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang crashed into a post and knocked the net off.

–Field Level Media

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