The New York Rangers are off to the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs after a thrilling, 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first round matchup. The Rangers battled back in this game -- after trailing 3-2 late into the third period -- and also this series, after going down 3-1 after Game 4.
K'Andre Miller drew a holding penalty three minutes into overtime and at 5:46 of the extra period, Artemi Panarin scored the game-winning goal to send the Rangers to the second round and set off a massive celebration on the ice.
"He's the guy, when we went into overtime, I said to myself 'I know who's going to score if we score,'" Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said about Panarin after the game. "If we we get the winning goal its going to be him."
On the comeback, Gallant said his team was even keeled through the third period, even as they trailed heading into the game's final minutes.
"It wasn't a big deal for us ... we've been a real good third period team. Its a one goal game ... you keep battling right to the end," Gallant said. "We didn't create a whole bunch of stuff the first 14 minutes but after that we started to push a little bit ... and obviously at the end with that power play goal but we just kept working and battling."
It was the 46th Stanley Cup playoff Game 7 to go to overtime, and the first since the Stars beat the Avalanche in the second round in 2020. The Stars went on to the Stanley Cup Final, where they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The drama began before the puck dropped in New York on Sunday. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and goalie Tristan Jarry were both game-time decisions and both had an impact on the game. Crosby tallied an assist on Jake Guentzel's second period goal and Jarry had 26 saves, but couldn't make the final stop on Panarin.
Chris Kreider got the scoring started for the Rangers, beating Jarry at 7:36 of the first period, but Danton Heinen tied the game with a power play goal late in the first period that wasn't initially called a goal on the ice. Replay officials in Toronto stopped the game at the next whistle to go back and review the play, which tied the game at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
The Penguins took the lead on the Guentzel goal, and after Miller tied the game at 2-2, Evan Rodrigues scored his third goal of the series with a shorthanded tally that sent the Pens into the third period with a 3-2 lead. Mika Zibanejad got the equalizer that eventually sent the game into overtime with under six minutes left in regulation.
The Rangers now move on to the second round, where they'll take on the Carolina Hurricanes.