Pittsburgh Penguins move to 2nd in Metropolitan after win of New York Rangers
By Jordan Laroche
The last year has been a wild ride for Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry. After last season’s first round exit to the New York Islanders, Jarry faced blame from everyone after a lackluster performance. But since returning this year, he has quickly become one of the top goalies in the NHL this season and was named an All-Star.
The Penguins as a group have managed to leapfrog the New York Rangers and now hold the second spot in the Metropolitan Division. They’ve spent most of the year with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup, whilst others have stepped up. Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust have become two key players for this team, and both were instrumental in Saturday’s win.
During Saturday’s game the New York Rangers came out strong in the first period, outshooting the Penguins 12-6 and it was made clear that this was going to be a defensive battle. Both Jarry and Igor Shesterkin were on top of their games as the two dueled it out through the first two periods.
The second period continued the offensive struggles for both sides as neither team registered more than ten shots in the period. The physical play started to ramp up during the second as well, the Rangers and Penguins have formed a pretty fierce rivalry over the 2010’s, and it showed in a lot of post-whistle scrums and the hit count.
The third was more of the same, until Malkin scored his 8th goal in 17 games which was eventually the game-winner. But the third saw even more physical play with the Rangers outhitting the Penguins 43-39 for 82 total hits in the game. Grit and toughness was something the Rangers wanted to address heading into the last off-season by bringing in Ryan Reaves, Barclay Goodrow, Greg McKegg and Sammy Blais (out for season) and it seems to have paid off.
The Rangers are back at it again Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks at home.
G: Evgeni Malkin (8) A: Bryan Rust (22) Sidney Crosby (34)
The Leafs will next play on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop against the Red Wings.