The New York Rangers opened the NHL playoffs with a fourth straight post-season victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday, while Detroit and Minnesota both got victories on the road to start their campaigns.
In the day’s other game, Anaheim rallied from another late deficit for a victory over Winnipeg.
Derick Brassard and Ryan McDonagh scored in the first period and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves as the Rangers beat the Penguins 2-1.
New York shut down Pittsburgh’s top offensive threats, with Sidney Crosby getting just one shot on goal and Evgeni Malkin two.
“We put a couple goals there in the first period, and got the crowd and momentum on our side,” Rangers captain McDonagh said.
New York won the final three games of a second-round series against the Penguins last year, rallying from a 3-1 deficit.
Photo: USA Today
The Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy this season, finishing 15 points ahead of Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference. The last time the Rangers won the trophy was also the last time they won the Stanley Cup, 1993-1994.
Detroit got two scores from Pavel Datsyuk to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 and take a 1-0 lead in their series.
Petr Mrazek, named Detroit’s starter for Game 1 over veteran Jimmy Howard, had 44 saves in his playoff debut.
“Petr really saved us tonight,” Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We knew he was a good goalie.”
Datsyuk scored on two of the first four shots the Red Wings got against Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop. Luke Glendening’s short-handed goal gave Detroit a 3-1 lead early in the third period.
Tampa Bay outshot the Red Wings 46-14, but went zero for seven on the power play — failing to even get a shot off on the final opportunity in the closing seconds. It was the fewest shots Detroit has attempted in a game this season, as well as the most it has allowed an opponent.
In St Louis, Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba gave Minnesota a two-goal lead through two periods as the Wild opened the playoffs with a 4-2 victory over the Blues.
Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen added scores in the third period for the Central Division champions Blues.
Devan Dubnyk, in his playoff debut, saw only 11 shots in the first two periods, and finished with 19 saves for the Wild.
The Wild tied the NHL record with 12 consecutive road victories late in the season before dropping a largely meaningless 4-2 decision in St Louis in the finale. However, before Game 1, they had won just two of the previous 18 road playoff games.
Anaheim’s Corey Perry scored two goals in the third period of a four-point performance as the Ducks beat the Jets 4-2.
Perry scored the tiebreaking goal with 6 minutes, 39 seconds to play, but the officials did not immediately see that the puck had crossed the goal line near Ondrej Pavelec’s outstretched pad. The teams played on for 62 seconds until a stoppage allowed video review and the tape confirmed the score.
The Ducks had 24 comeback wins in the regular season.
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