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Penguins Eliminate Rangers with 6-3 Win in Game 5

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Ken Lund/via flickr.com

NHL

PITTSBURGH-The Pittsburgh Penguins returned home for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers, having taken two straight games at Madison Square Garden and have an opportunity to advance to the second round with a win at home Saturday at Consol Energy Center.

The Pens were in beast mode, turning the tables after being eliminated by the Rangers in the last two years.

Just 1:02 into the first period, Rick Nash deflected Dan Girardi‘s shot past Matt Murray to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead.

The Pens tied the game 1-1 at 9:50 after Carl Hagelin slipped Phil Kessel‘s centering pass past Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead 45 seconds later. After a shot ricocheted off the post, Dominic Moore crashed the net and the puck deflected off his skate and past Murray.

Then, Kessel sniped a power-play wrist shot past Lundqvist from the right circle, tying the game 2-2 with 21 seconds left in the first.

The Pens scored four unanswered goals in the second period.

Bryan Rust collected Trevor Daley‘s smooth pass in front and wristed it past Lundqvist to extend the Penguins’ lead to 3-2 at 5:21.

Following a Rangers turnover, Matt Cullen fired a wrister from the left circle past Lundqvist to make it 4-2 Pittsburgh at 9:26.

Conor Sheary received a pass from Sidney Crosby, then beats Lundqvist glove-side to expand the Pens’ lead to 5-2 at 16:18.

Rust wristed his second goal of the game over Lundqvist’s glove to make it 6-2 Pens with less than a minute to go in the second.

The Rangers cut the deficit 6-3 in the third period. Chris Kreider tipped Raphael Diaz‘s one-timer past Murray for a power play goal.

But that wasn’t enough for the Rangers to at least force overtime.

The Pens won the series 4-1, eliminating the Rangers in five games.

Murray made 38 saves for Pittsburgh. Lundqvist allowed a combined 10 goals on 41 shots in the past two games and was pulled in each. Antti Raanta replaced Lundqvist to start the third period and made five saves for New York.

Notes:
Rangers
Defenseman Dan Boyle was scratched against the Pens.

Defensemen Dan Girardi and Raphael Diaz each took the ice for warmups.

Penguins:
After missing the first two games of the series with a head injury, Penguins rookie goaltender Matt Murray returned in time for Game 3 to completely bewilder the Rangers. Murray stopped 47 of 48 shots in Pittsburgh’s two road wins as the offense racked up eight goals, led by Evgeni Malkin’s two goals and three assists.

Up Next: The Pens will play either the Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers in the second round. The Caps currently lead their series 3-2.

Game 6 between the Capitals and Flyers is Sunday at 12 pm ET on NBC.

NOTE: This article was written by new hockey writer Ana Kieu.