49 minutes ago
On any occasion the next “Next One” takes on the original “Next One” for the first time, it is noteworthy.
No matter if it was a legit superstar such as Nathan MacKinnon or a legit bust such as Nail Yakupov, just about all of Sidney Crosby’s initial meetings with a fellow member “first overall draft pick club” have been something of a crossroads for the NHL.
And sure enough, Friday’s matchup of Crosby’s Penguins with Alexis Lafreniere’s New York Rangers was intriguing, particularly because both players spent their junior careers with the Rimouski Oceanic, based in Quebec.
Crosby gave Lafreniere, a talented winger the Rangers drafted in October, a hearty endorsement before the game.
“He’s a great player,” Crosby said. “He generates a lot of different ways. Like any young player, with every game, there’s so many new things, new buildings, new opponents, that sort of thing. I’m sure there’s a lot on his mind. Being someone who can relate what he’s going though, he’s just got to keep doing what he’s doing.”
In Friday’s encounter, the Penguins did something they haven’t done any time Tristan Jarry started in goal.
Jarry made 31 saves on 34 shots as the Penguins earned their third consecutive victory, 4-3 in a shootout at PPG Paints Arena. The win improved Jarry to 1-2-0 on the season.
Shootout goals by forward Jake Guentzel and defenseman Kris Letang secured victory.
The Penguins’ second line scored its first five-on-five goal of the season to open the scoring 10 minutes, 29 seconds into regulation. Corralling a puck at the right point, Penguins defenseman Cody Ceci whipped a wrister at the cage. Forward Bryan Rust, positioned to the right of the crease, gained position on ex-Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson and re-directed the puck under the blocker of goaltender Igor Shesterkin for his first goal of the season.
The Rangers cashed in just 2:41 into the second period. Just as a New York power-play opportunity had expired, Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin fumbled a puck on his own right wall. Rangers forward Filip Chytil, claimed the puck, sauntered in on net and deked Jarry out of position before tucking a backhander into the cage for his second goal.
A power-play goal gave the Rangers their first lead at 5:18 of the second. After Letang made an errant backhand clear from behind his own cage, Rangers defenseman Adam Fox boomed a one-timer past Jarry’s blocker on the near side for his first goal.
It became a 3-1 game at the 5:42 mark of the second. From the left point, Rangers forward Philip Di Giuseppe chucked a wrister on net. Jarry made the initial save but booted a rebound to the right of the crease. Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko darted past Penguins defenseman John Marino and cleaned up the garbage for his second goal.
Seeing his team allowing three goals in a span of 3:01, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called a timeout to get his team organized.
The Penguins cashed in on their own power-play chance — albeit with some help from the Rangers — at 16:56 of the second. Taking a pass low on the left wing, Penguins forward Jared McCann tried to force a pass through the crease but had it blocked by Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren. On the ensuing scramble, Lindgren tapped the puck into his own cage with his left glove, past Shesterkin’s left skate. McCann was credited with his first goal.
Penguins forward Teddy Blueger scored his second goal at 11:23 of the third period to tie the score 3-3. Off a feed by forward Kasperi Kapanen, defenseman P.O Joseph, making his NHL debut, blasted a one-timer from above the left circle that hit off the end boards and deflected to the right of the cage, where where Blueger chopped in the rebound.
Penguins/NHL | Sports