RECAP: Penguins blast Rangers with first-period flurry

Mar 7, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kasperi Kapanen had a goal and two assists Sunday as the Pittsburgh Penguins scored three times in a 1:01 span of the first period en route to a 5-1 win over the visiting New York Rangers

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, and John Marino, Sidney Crosby and Zach Aston-Reese also scored for Pittsburgh, which improved to 10-2-0 at home.

Goaltender Casey DeSmith, playing for the second time since Feb. 11, stopped 23 of 24 New York shots.

Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, who had scored 12 goals over their previous two games and 15 over a three-game winning streak entering Sunday.

Alexandar Georgiev gave up three goals on six shots before he was relieved by Keith Kinkaid, who in his first appearance of the season made 16 saves.

Pittsburgh forward Jared McCann, who had an assist, left late in the second period for an unspecified reason.

New York started strong, ringing up a 9-1 lead in shots and taking a 1-0 lead on Zibanejad’s goal at 1:18 of the first. Off a 2-on-1, he put a shot past DeSmith’s glove.

Pittsburgh went into quick-strike mode later in the first.

Two seconds after a power play expired, Marino used a screen by Evan Rodrigues and whipped a shot far side from just beyond the right dot at 16:13 of the first to tie it.

Kapanen made it 2-1 at 16:52. New York defenseman K’Andre Miller couldn’t corral a bouncing puck in the neutral zone. Kapanen caught up with it for a breakaway from just inside the blue line and chipped the puck over Georgiev.

Crosby struck 23 seconds later with a skilled play to make it 3-1. He took a feed ahead from Brian Dumoulin, entered the New York zone and split defensemen Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren before wristing a shot past Georgiev’s glove.

That chased Georgiev for Kinkaid.

Malkin extended the lead to 4-1 at 13:57 of the third when, off the rush, he one-timed a pass from Kapanen, and Aston-Reese at the right post batted the puck past Kinkaid’s skate at 16:37 of the third.

–Field Level Media