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Evgeni Malkin nets tip-in, leads Penguins to 3OT win vs. Rangers in Stanley Cup playoffs

Evgeni Malkin nets tip-in, leads Penguins to 3OT win vs. Rangers in Stanley Cup playoffs
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) beat star goaltender Igor Shesterkin to beat the New York Rangers in triple overtime Tuesday in New York. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- Center Evgeni Malkin ended a triple-overtime thriller with a deflected shot past goaltender Igor Shesterkin, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a win over the New York Rangers in a Stanley Cup playoffs opener.

The score came 5:58 into the third bonus period of the 4-3 victory Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York. Shesterkin totaled a franchise-record 79 saves, the second-most in a playoff game since shots on goal was first tracked in 1955.

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"We played a physical, hard game," Malkin told reporters. "We give credit to New York. They played really well too. We know it's not easy."

Penguins left wing Jake Guentzel scored twice in the victory. Right wing Bryan Rust logged a goal and two assists for the Penguins. Defenseman Adam Fox, center Andrew Copp and left wing Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers.

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"It was a great game by two teams," Rangers coach Gerard Gallant told reporters. "In the first 25 minutes we were really good and dominated that part of the game. They came back in the second and played really well.

"It was one of those games. Three overtime periods, it's tough to lose like that. We will get back on the horse and get ready for the next game."

Fox lit the lamp for first blood on a power play 9:19 into the first period. Copp doubled the Rangers lead with another score 3:08 into the second.

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Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Rust assisted Guentzel's first score about 1:24 later. They also assisted another Guentzel goal midway through the period, which tied the score at 2-2.

Kreider gave the Rangers the lead with a short-handed score with 2:53 left in the second. Rust converted on a power play with 1:30 remaining in the period for another game-tying score.

Neither team scored in the third period, or for the next two overtimes. Malkin then found the net about six minutes into the third bonus period.

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Right wing Kasperi Kapanen held the puck to the right of the Rangers goal at the start of the final sequence. He then stopped his skates and fired a pass back toward the blue line. Defenseman John Marino received the feed and skated backwards. He then ripped a shot toward the net.

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The puck cruised through defenders as Malkin stood in front of the goal. The star forward turned his body as the puck approached and used his stick to deflect a shot into a narrow window between Shesterkin and the right post.

Crosby totaled two assists in the victory. Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith sustained a lower-body injury in the second overtime and was replaced by backup Louis Domingue. Penguins forward Rickard Rakell sustained an upper-body injury.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Rakell and DeSmith are being evaluated by the team's medical staff.

DeSmith totaled 48 saves, while Domingue stopped 17 shots in the victory.

The Rangers host the Penguins in Game 2 of the first-round, best-of-seven game series at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

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