Pens squander two-goal lead
The New York Rangers aren’t about to let the loss of two top forwards derail their hot start.
The Rangers were hit with adversity the previous two days, first on Sunday after learning Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich would miss extended time because of injury, and the following day when they fell behind early against their division rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rick Nash sparked a comeback, though, and J.T. Miller scored short-handed to cap a second-period rally, helping the Rangers overcome an early two-goal deficit to beat the Penguins 5-2 on Monday night.
“We know a lot about this team because we played them so much over the last handful of years,” Miller said. “I think we were on our heels a little too much to start, a little too passive. I thought we were a lot more aggressive after that, and when we did that, we forced them into more turnovers and got a couple lucky bounces.”
The teams play again Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden to complete a pivotal, early season home-and-home between Metropolitan Division contenders. The Penguins have lost four of six and trail the first-place Rangers by four points.
Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel scored twice in the first period of his first NHL game, but Rick Nash and Michael Grabner made it 2-2 before Miller, a Pittsburgh native, got his eighth of the season.
Kevin Hayes added his ninth goal midway through the third, and Derek Stepan also scored into an empty net.
Antti Raanta, starting the second game of a back-to-back for New York, rebounded after the first period and made 29 saves for his fifth win in six games.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots for Pittsburgh. It was the first time he started two straight games since Matt Murray returned earlier in the month from a broken hand.