Rangers Outlast Penguins – Strome Scores OT Winner

PITTSBURGH — Ryan Strome scored 2:09 into overtime and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 Saturday night in the regular-season finale.

Brendan Smith, Brady Skjei and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for New York, long eliminated from playoff contention for the second straight year. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 36 shots while starting for the second straight night. The Rangers snapped a three-game skid and won for just the fifth time in their final 21 games (5-10-6).

Ryan Strome
New York Rangers’ Ryan Strome (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Sidney Crosby, Nick Bjugstad and Jake Guentzel scored for the Penguins, who earned a point to secure third-place in the Metropolitan Division and a matchup with the New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. Matt Murray finished with 26 saves while starting g20 of Pittsburgh’s last 21 games.

Skjei and Namestnikov scored 1:16 apart to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead with 6:10 remaining in regulation. Namestnikov’s go-ahead goal was the 15th short-handed score allowed by Pittsburgh, tied for worst in the league.

However, Guentzel tied it with his 40th of the season with 2:35 to play, becoming the 20th player in franchise history to reach the mark. Crosby, who scored his 35th earlier in the game, had an assist on the play for his 100th point. Crosby reached the mark for the sixth time in his career, and first time since 2013-14.

Crosby opened the scoring at 6:36 of the first period when he converted a one-timer from Guentzel during a 2-on-1.

Smith tied it with 7:11 left in the opening period as he beat Murray on a partial breakaway following a turnover by Garrett Wilson at centre ice.

Bjugstad put Pittsburgh in front 2-1 at 2:28 of the third. Marcus Pettersson’s point shot deflected off the stick of Patric Hornqvist and went to Bjugstad, who put the puck in near the left post for his 14th.

Skjei tied it with 7:26 to play when he beat Murray with a wrist shot from the slot during a 3-on-2 for his eighth.

NOTES: Pittsburgh recorded 100 points for the 10th time in the last 12 full seasons. … Penguins D Brian Dumoulin missed his third straight game, but he skated Saturday morning. … Guentzel joined Chris Kunitz as the only players other than Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to lead the team in goals during the Crosby and Malkin era. … Guentzel, Phil Kessel, and Jack Johnson played all 82 games for Pittsburgh. Kessel played in every game for the ninth consecutive year, a total of 774 straight games. Pettersson, who spent time in Anaheim this season, led the league in games played with 84 this season. Mika Zibanejad played in every game for New York.


Rangers: End of season

Penguins: Open the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the New York Islanders.


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Dan Scifo, The Associated Press