Perhaps inspired by their baseball counterparts in The Bronx, the underdog New York Rangers, equally desperate for a win, duplicated the comeback feat during their Tuesday night showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Alas, unlike the Yankees, they were unable to hold on.
Sidney Crosby tied the game in the final minute of regulation, while Evgeni Malkin won it in the first minute of overtime, and the Penguins emerged from Madison Square Garden with a 5-4 victory. Though the Rangers (1-5-1) emerged with a point for the first time in four games, it extended a brutal early-season losing streak.
It was, as a late member of that Bronx squad once said, deja vu all over again for the Rangers, who once more let up a goal in the first minute of the game. 43 seconds in, Phil Kessel got into the zone and fired one past Henrik Lundqvist for the early 1-0 lead. The Penguins (4-2-1) were able to build on their lead later in the period when ex-Ranger Carl Hagelin capitalized on a 2-on-1, scoring his first goal of the season, much to the chagrin of the Garden faithful.
The Rangers, however, showcased resiliency, a trait that has been prevalent during their early deficits this season. David Desharnais, working on the second line, scored his first goal as a Ranger off assists from JT Miller and Kevin Shattenkirk. Miller would later get in on the go-ahead fun during a Crosby double minor, as the Penguins captain high sticked Jimmy Vesey. Miller’s goal, his second of the year, gave the Rangers the lead, shortly after Pavel Buchnevich tied it with his first. Pittsburgh, however, scored on a power play of their own, as Patric Hornqvist scored while Chris Kreider was in the box for cross checking. Minutes before, the Rangers missed out on a 5-on-3 session that lasted nearly two minutes, as Crosby and Hagelin were in the box.
Though Lundqvist and Matt Murray were able to make spectacular saves to keep the score knotted, Desharnais and Michael Grabner broke out in a 2-on-1, with Grabner putting it past Murray to give the Rangers the lead back. However, when Murray went to the bench with two minutes to go, the Penguins took advantage. Crosby banked one off of Lundqvist for the score, tying the game with 56 seconds to go. In the overtime, the Rangers won a faceoff in their own zone, a brutal turnover by Ryan McDonagh left Lundqvist all alone with Kessel and Malkin, and Malkin put it in to end the game.
Kessel ended the night with three points with a goal and an assist, and Miller duplicated the same feat. Murray and Lundqvist each made 28 saves each.
The Rangers will end a four-game Metro slate on Thursday night against the New York Islanders (7:00 PM, MSG)
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490