Rangers shake off marathon loss, beat Penguins in Game 2

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Artemi Panarin scored a key goal with 11:58 left and had two assists for the host New York Rangers, who never trailed in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday that tied their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series to one win a piece.

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Game 3 is Saturday in Pittsburgh.

New York’s Frank Vatrano also contributed a goal and two assists. Vatrano scored 1:47 past Panarin as Rangers bounced back nicely from their triple-overtime loss in Tuesday’s series opener.

Panarin scored when his shot from behind the net beat Pittsburgh defenseman Mike Matheson’s right skate and under third-string goaltender Louis Domingue. Vatrano scored when he sped up the right wing, pushed Matheson back and lifted a wrist shot from Domingue.

Andrew Copp, Ryan Strome and Chris Kreider scored to help Rangers hold a 3-2 lead inside 40 minutes.

Jake Guentzel had his third goal of the series for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby scored late in the second after setting up Guentzel.

New York’s Igor Shesterkin continued his 79-save performance in Game 1 by making 39 saves in Game 2. He made saves on Evgeni Malkin and Crosby in the first four minutes of the third when the Penguins took the first nine shots of the period. .

Shesterkin was also beaten by Pittsburgh’s Jeff Carter with 2:04 to go. After Carter appeared to bend over him, Shesterkin fell on his back and was picked up by trainer Jim Ramsay, resulting in a double minor for Carter.

Domingue stopped 35 shots in his first career NHL playoff start after replacing Casey DeSmith in second overtime on Tuesday.

Rangers opened the scoring at 6:50 of the first period when Copp’s one-timer from the high slot deflected Crosby’s stick and Matheson’s skate into the net.

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Guentzel tied the game 2:02 later when his deflection deflected past New York defender K’Andre Miller and past Shesterkin moments after Crosby intercepted a pass from Panarin.

The Rangers regained the lead 2:59 into the second on a power play. Strome held off Kris Letang in net and deflected Adam Fox’s long shot under Domingo.

New York took a two-goal lead at 12:06 of the middle period when Kreider headed for the high slot and redirected a Vatrano shot over Domingo’s stick.

Crosby made it a one-goal game with 86 seconds left in the second when he held off three defenders and swept the rebound shot from Bryan Rust into the net just past Shesterkin.

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