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Sidney Crosby’s 3-point game fuels Penguins’ rout of Rangers

May 9, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;   Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) and defenseman Mike Matheson (5) celebrate a goal by Matheson against the New York Rangers during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists Monday to reach 200 career playoff points and help the Pittsburgh Penguins clobber the visiting New York Rangers 7-2.

The victory gives Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. The Penguins could close out the series in Game 5 on Wednesday in New York.

Jake Guentzel added a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who scored five goals in the second period. Mike Matheson, Mark Friedman, Danton Heinen, Jeff Carter and Evgeni Malkin scored while Kris Letang had two assists.

Pittsburgh goaltender Louis Domingue made 22 saves.

Alexis Lafreniere and Adam Fox scored for the Rangers.

New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin, a game after he got pulled following one period, got yanked after the second. He gave up six goals on 30 shots. Sub Alexandar Georgiev stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced.

The Rangers struck first. Lafreniere, from above the right hash marks, used Letang as a screen and placed the puck under Domingue’s glove at 2:06 of the first period.

Crosby tied it on a power play at 11:17 of the first. From the right post, he whacked the puck under Shesterkin’s pad after a Letang shot. The play required a review to confirm the goal.

At 3:14 of the second, Crosby won a faceoff back to Matheson, whose shot from the center point went in off the stick of New York’s Frank Vatrano to make it 2-1.

Guentzel scored 24 seconds later to extend the gap to 3-1. He directed the puck in on a backdoor feed from Crosby. That gave Guentzel five goals in the series’ first four games.

Friedman scored at 11:22 of the second when his shot from the slot was another that went in off Vatrano, pushing the Penguins’ lead to 4-1.

At 14:04 of the second, Fox pulled the Rangers within 4-2 when his shot from the far side of the left circle went in off Matheson’s skate.

Heinen scored on a backhanded redirect of a Letang shot with 1:07 left in the middle period. Carter redirected a Jason Zucker shot with 32 seconds remaining to put the Penguins in control 6-2 going into the third.

At 12:22 of the third, Malkin roofed a feed from Kasperi Kapanen.

–Field Level Media