Complete – March 27, 2016 – 7:30 PM ET – Madison Square Garden, New York, New York – Attendance: 18,006 – Duration: 2 Hours, 42 Minutes
Linesman #92 Mark Shewchyk
Linesman #96 David Brisebois
Referee #38 Francois St. Laurent
Referee #20 Tim Peel
Skater Stats
LWChris Kunitz000000020:23
LWCarl Hagelin401001015:47
LWConor Sheary00000005:59
CSidney Crosby410001023:05
CMatt Cullen310000017:18
CNick Bonino100000217:16
CEric Fehr300000012:03
COskar Sundqvist00000000:00
RWPatric Hornqvist100000019:26
RWPhil Kessel511002017:45
RWTom Kuhnhackl00000-1016:34
RWBryan Rust00000-1012:03
RWBeau Bennett10000007:12
DKris Letang401001231:45
DTrevor Daley201000028:43
DBen Lovejoy10000-1019:30
DDerrick Pouliot301001019:29
DIan Cole000000016:14
DJustin Schultz000000013:04
DBrian Dumoulin00000000:00
DOlli Maatta00000000:00
Skater Stats
LWRick Nash200000018:49
LWChris Kreider000000016:37
LWViktor Stalberg000000011:43
LWTanner Glass40000008:51
CDerek Stepan10000-2021:32
CDerick Brassard200000419:45
CEric Staal420001016:28
CJ.T. Miller30000-1016:12
CDominic Moore200000010:28
COscar Lindberg00000000:00
RWMats Zuccarello20000-2020:10
RWJesper Fast202001014:09
RWKevin Hayes102001014:05
DRyan McDonagh00000-1024:31
DKevin Klein000000022:05
DDan Girardi200000021:40
DKeith Yandle000000021:10
DMarc Staal100000018:45
DDan Boyle100000016:36
DDylan McIlrath00000000:00
Goalie Stats
GMarc-Andre Fleury2722592.5964:30
GJeff Zatkoff00000:00
GMatthew Murray00000:00
Goalie Stats
GHenrik Lundqvist3232990.6364:30
GAntti Raanta00000:00
Period 1
Goal scored by Eric Staal
Assisted by: Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast
Penalty on Kris Letang: 2 minutes for Slashing
Goal scored by Matt Cullen
Assisted by: Derrick Pouliot and Trevor Daley
Period 2
Goal scored by Eric Staal
Assisted by: Jesper Fast and Kevin Hayes
Goal scored by Phil Kessel
Assisted by: Carl Hagelin
Period 3
Penalty on Nick Bonino: 2 minutes for Tripping
Penalty on Derick Brassard: 2 minutes for High sticking
Penalty on Derick Brassard: 2 minutes for High sticking
Period 4
Goal scored by Sidney Crosby
Assisted by: Kris Letang and Phil Kessel
Rangers G Lundqvist leaves with eye injury

PITTSBURGH — New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after the first period of a first-round playoff game against the Penguins in Pittsburgh with an apparent eye injury Wednesday night.

Lundqvist, whose 54 postseason victories are the most among active goalies in the playoffs, was accidentally struck in the right eye by teammate Marc Staal’s stick with 19:11 gone in the first period.

After staying down for several minutes for treatment by athletic trainer Jim Ramsay, Lundqvist gathered himself and stayed in the game, but Pittsburgh forward Patric Hornqvist scored the game’s first goal 31 seconds later.

Lundqvist stayed out for the rest of the period, but backup Antti Raanta replaced him to start the second period.

Neither team’s starting goalie was on the ice in the game. Pittsburgh No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was held out with a concussion and No. 2 goalie Matt Murray was out with an upper-body injury suffered in the regular-season finale. No. 3 goalie Jeff Zatkoff made his first start since Feb. 20 while prospect Tristan Jarry backed him up.

Lundqvist’s status after eye injury uncertain

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s eye injury is not believed to be too serious, but as a precaution, the New York Rangers recalled goalie Magnus Hellberg just in case.

Lundqvist suffered a right eye in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh when he was poked through the mask by Marc Staal’s stick late in the first period.

Coach Alain Vigneault said the injury is “nothing too serious,” but Lundqvist would see a specialist to alleviate any fears.

Vigneault said it won’t be until Friday until he knows for sure if Lundqvist might even be able to play.

He can’t go, Antti Raanta will get the start, but only “in case we get some bad news tomorrow, but at this time we don’t feel that way,” Vigneault said.

Vigneault also ruled captain Ryan McDonagh out for Game 2 with a right hand injury.

If Lundqvist can’t make the start on Saturday, his streak of 111 consecutive playoff starts will be snapped.

Rangers’ Lundqvist, Penguins’ Malkin back

PITTSBURGH — Henrik Lundqvist was back in goal for the New York Rangers, and Evgeni Malkin was back on the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the longtime rivals’ first-round playoff series game Saturday.

Lundqvist’s right eye was injured when he was accidentally struck by teammate Marc Staal’s stick late in the first period of the Rangers’ 5-2 loss in Game 1, forcing him to sit out the final two periods. The Rangers trailed 1-0 when he left, with Antti Raanta finishing up.

Coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday that Lundqvist was “good to go” and make his 112th consecutive playoff start for the Rangers.

Malkin, a former NHL and Stanley Cup finals MVP, played for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury March 11. The Penguins went 13-2 during Malkin’s second injury absence this season. He missed a total of 25 games, yet still was the team’s second-leading goal scorer with 27.

Jeff Zatkoff, the Penguins’ No. 3 goalie, was back in net after making 35 saves during his surprise start Wednesday in Game 1. Marc-Andre Fleury, still bothered by the concussion that sidelined him for the final five regular-season games, practiced Friday but apparently is not yet ready to play.

Rangers 4, Penguins 2

PITTSBURGH — J.T. Miller set up three New York goals in slightly more than four minutes of the second period that unnerved the Pittsburgh Penguins and their backup goaltender and the Rangers tied up the first-round playoff series, winning 4-2 on Saturday.

The Rangers looked nothing like the team that was dominated 5-2 in Game 1 — and Pittsburgh’s Jeff Zatkoff finally looked like a No. 3 goaltender, as Derick Brassard beat him for a goal and assisted on two others.

With the steady Henrik Lundqvist back in net after missing the final two periods — and four Penguins goals — in Game 1 with an injured right eye, the Rangers scored four consecutive goals to seize back home-ice advantage from the rival they eliminated from the postseason the previous two seasons.

Despite Phil Kessel’s first two playoff goals since 2013, the Rangers also ended their four-game losing streak against the Penguins that dated to the regular season and now go back to Madison Square Garden with confidence intact for Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Early on, it looked like a repeat of Game 1, as Pittsburgh outshot the Rangers 17-8 and led 1-0 on Kessel’s first goal. Zatkoff also looked as steady and unshaken as he did while making 35 saves Wednesday as a surprise starter for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion).

But that all changed in 18 seconds, as the Rangers swung the game, the lead — and, they hope, the series — their way, thanks largely to center Miller’s playmaking and Brassard’s two-way play.

Brassard won a faceoff in the Penguins’ end, allowing Miller to throw a perfectly placed pass to a wide-open Keith Yandle in the left circle for a wrist shot that knuckleballed over Zatkoff’s right shoulder and under the crossbar at 12:38.

The Penguins, who had won 15 of their previous 17, then sat back as Miller made a long-distance breakout pass to their own blue line to Brassard, who got a stride ahead of defenseman Olli Maatta for a wrist shot that eluded Zatkoff only 18 seconds after Yandle scored. The goal was reviewed to determine if Brassard was onside.

All of a sudden, the Rangers were playing exactly like the team that had won seven of their previous eight in the postseason from Pittsburgh in 2014 and 2015.

Lundqvist, looking sharp and not the least bit bothered by the eye injury that forced him out of Game 1, made 29 saves — keeping the Rangers in the lead by stopping Bryan Rust out of the penalty box on a breakaway at 15:37 of the third.

That allowed Mats Zuccarello to make it 3-1 at 16:52 with a nearly unstoppable shot into the corner of the net, after Miller faked a pass to the point only to hit Zuccarello in the right circle. Miller’s three assists in a single playoff period tied a Rangers club record shared with four others, including Jaromir Jagr.

Just 39 seconds into the third period, the Rangers appeared ready to turn it into a rout as Brassard set up Chris Kreider for the fourth New York goal in a span of eight shots. But the Penguins came back five minutes later to make it 4-2 on Kessel’s second goal, on a power play with Evgeni Malkin assisting in his first game since getting injured March 11.

But even Malkin’s return wasn’t enough as the Penguins failed — for the 10th time in their last 11 opportunities — to sweep the first two games of a playoff series that opened on home ice.

NOTES: New York made a significant lineup change for Game 2, sitting down injured D Dan Girardi and dressing 6-foot-5, 220-pound Dylan McIlrath, who became the second Rangers rookie defenseman to make his playoffs debut in as many games. Brady Skjei played 17:08 in Game 1. McIlrath was paired with D Keith Yandle. … The Penguins went 13-2 during C Evgeni Malkin’s second extended injury absence of the season, which ended Saturday. … Malkin was out for five weeks; the initial projection was 6-to-8 weeks. … The last time G Henrik Lundqvist did not start a Rangers playoff game was April 24, 2006. Lundqvist was back in net after missing the final two periods of Game 1 with an injured right eye. … Penguins RW Bryan Rust (undisclosed injury) played after being out since March 29. … Rangers F Mats Zuccarello opened the game on a line with C Derek Stepan, or the same way they ended Game 1. Zuccarello normally plays on a line with C Derick Brassard. … Game 3 will be Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden following another two-day break, but all subsequent games in the series will be every other day. … New York scratched Giradi, D Ryan McDonagh, C Oscar Lindberg and G Magnus Hellberg. Pittsburgh held out D Justin Schultz, D Derrick Pouliot, RW Beau Bennett, C Oskar Sundqvist, G Matt Murray, F Tom Sestito and injured G Marc-Andre Fleury, who missed a second successive start.

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