The New York Rangers pulled off a valuable road victory in the opening game of their NHL second-round playoff series at Pittsburgh, beating the Penguins 3-2 in overtime, while Chicago also claimed first blood in their series against Minnesota.
New York’s Derick Brassard scored the winner 3 minutes, 6 seconds into overtime, although it was immediately apparent.
Play continued after Brassard’s goal, with Benoit Pouliot pumping a shot past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury seconds after Brassard’s shot. A review showed Brassard’s flip from in front beat Fleury cleanly.
Pouliot and Brad Richards gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead, while goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots including a Pittsburgh breakaway in the final seconds of regulation time.
Lee Stempniak and James Neal scored for the Penguins to force overtime, while Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby was held without a goal for the 12th straight playoff game.
Chicago won 5-2 at home against Minnesota, with Patrick Kane scoring two goals for the Blackhawks in the third period, including a terrific dash through the Minnesota zone for the tiebreaking score.
Bryan Bickell also scored twice for the Blackhawks, who have won five in a row after losing their first two playoff games. Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist as the defending Stanley Cup champions made the most of two costly high-sticking penalties on Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin.
Clayton Stoner and Kyle Brodziak scored in the third period for Minnesota.
The second game of both series will be today.