It will not go down as a defensive masterpiece as the New York Rangers let a third-period lead slip by as Sydney Crosby slammed a shot past Alexandar Georgiev to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-4 victory in overtime.
In the three-on-three overtime, the Penguins took advantage of the fact that the Rangers could not clear their own defensive zone, allowing the Penguins to bring fresh players on the ice three consecutive times before Crosby’s goal ended the game.
While the Rangers did take a little bit of advantage of the depleted Penguins defense, their own defensive efforts were equally lacking in the Saturday night game.
The Rangers are now 1-5 in their last six games decided by a goal.
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A very frustrated Kreider said in his post-game news conference said that “Yeah, this is a reoccurring thing at this point. We’ve shown what we can do in spurts what we need to do to be successful by cranking up the intensity in the third period but then we get away from it and we start going east-west and not advancing it in the zone. You don’t win at the NHL level doing that.”
Head coach David Quinn addressed the lack of holding leads in the third period during his post-game Zoom Conference. “We’ve had a bad of a period as we had all year. They beat us to every loose puck, they beat us in every battle. They (the Penguins) were smarter and looked like a little hungrier team than we were in the third period.”
Quinn also addressed that lack of solid defense by the Rangers in this game. “We were very soft around our net. We haven’t said that a lot throughout the season. They upped the ante in the third period and we were not able to match it.”
The two teams face off again on Monday night.