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Rangers blow lead again as Sidney Crosby’s OT goal lifts Penguins

The Rangers have lived and died by the one-goal game early in the season.

They were crushed by it once more Saturday night.

Sidney Crosby delivered the dagger in overtime to lift the Penguins past the Rangers, 5-4, at the Garden.

After coming back from three separate one-goal deficits, the Rangers came out of a wild second period with a one-goal lead of their own, only to let it slip away midway through the third period. They were still able to salvage a point but may be ruing their missed opportunity after blowing another one-goal lead.

The Rangers had been swept by the Penguins in a two-game set in Pittsburgh last week, including a shootout loss. That came during a four-game road trip that ended Thursday night with Alexis Lafreniere’s game-winner against the Sabres.

Their previous five games entering Saturday had been decided by one goal, and this one was no different.

Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates after scoring the game-winning OT goal in the Rangers' 5-4 loss to the Penguins.
Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates after scoring the game-winning OT goal in the Rangers’ 5-4 loss to the Penguins.

Alexandar Georgiev, in his fourth start of the season, made 33 saves. He came up with two big ones midway through the third period but could not make a third, as Jake Guentzel tucked in a second rebound attempt to tie the game 4-4 with 10:40 left in regulation.

After having to kill a penalty just 12 seconds into the game, the Rangers came out buzzing and generating plenty of scoring chances, including on a power play of their own. Still, they came up empty on the man advantage and soon after, found themselves in an early hole.

The Penguins struck first on an odd-man against the Rangers’ Brendan Smith-Tony DeAngelo pairing. Pierre-Olivier Joseph fired a shot on net, where Jason Zucker deflected the puck past Georgiev for the 1-0 lead at 7:39.

But the Rangers’ fourth line came through just over six minutes later to tie it. Brendan Lemieux dropped a pass back to Phillip Di Giuseppe and then crashed the net, putting himself in position to tip in the rebound from Di Giuseppe’s shot to make it 1-1 at 13:52.

Still, the Penguins went into the first intermission with a lead. Joseph created it again with a shot from the point, which Brandon Tanev deflected as the puck squeezed through Georgiev’s legs to put the Penguins up 2-1 with 39.4 seconds left in the period.

To begin a chaotic second period, the Rangers let another power play go to waste before tying the game while shorthanded. Kevin Rooney and K’Andre Miller got loose for a 2-on-0 and played a game of give-and-go, finishing with Rooney’s first goal as a Ranger to tie it 2-2 at 7:20.

The Penguins had a quick answer, but the Rangers came back with an even quicker one. Forty-three seconds after Kasperi Kapanen scored on a breakaway to give the Penguins their lead back, Chris Kreider evened it up again by cleaning up a rebound off a shot from Jacob Trouba to make it 3-3 at 10:25.

On their fourth power play of the night — courtesy of the Penguins’ John Marino trying to make a play without his helmet — the Rangers finally converted. Artemi Panarin ripped a one-timer past Casey DeSmith at 16:01, off a pass from Pavel Buchnevich, to put the Rangers ahead 4-3.

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