Penguins beat Rangers to even playoff series 1-1; Anaheim outplay Winnipeg
Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and St. Louis all evened their first-round NHL playoff series with wins on Saturday, while Anaheim rallied from another third-period deficit to take a 2-0 series lead over Winnipeg. Sidney Crosby scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 23 saves as the Penguins rebounded from a loss in Game 1 to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3 on the road.
The Rangers won Game 1 by making Crosby virtually invisible and keeping Evgeni Malkin out of the danger zone. On Saturday, the Penguins forced turnovers in the decisive second period, shut down the Rangers’ power play and generally controlled the pace to get the win.
Brandon Sutter and Chris Kunitz also scored for Pittsburgh, and Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and Rick Nash (with 5.1 seconds to go) had goals for New York.
Tampa Bay got an important win after dropping Game 1 against Detroit on home ice despite outplaying the Red Wings for most of the game. The Lightning won 5-1 on Saturday, with Ben Bishop stopping 24 shots for his first NHL playoff victory.
Tyler Johnson had two goals for the Lightning, and Alex Killorn and Andrej Sustr scored in second period to put Tampa Bay up 4-0.
Bishop lost his bid for a shutout when Detroit’s Tomas Tatar scored at 5:49 of the third period.
The Red Wings did not play particularly well in either of the two games in Tampa Bay, but escaped with the opener thanks to an outstanding playoff debut by young goalie Petr Mrazek. He was pulled Saturday after Tampa Bay’s three-goal second period, replaced by the struggling, but more experienced Jimmy Howard.
In St. Louis, Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals in the first period and then had an empty-netter for his first career playoff hat trick as the Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1.
Tarasenko responded after a subpar effort in Game 1 — no shots and one assist — with an impressive performance more in line with his play in the regular season. The dynamic winger ran his playoff total to seven goals in nine games.
Patrik Berglund’s unassisted goal past Devan Dubnyk made it a two-goal cushion with 1:58 to go for the Central Division champions, who will carry momentum to Minnesota for Game 3 on Monday night.
Winnipeg Jets center Mathieu Perreault, left, knocks Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg to the ice during the first period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL playoff series in Anaheim, California on Saturday, April 18.