Tuesday's NHL: Penguins edge Rangers in triple OT; Flames shut out Stars
New York — Evgeni Malkin scored on a deflection 5:58 into the third overtime, giving Pittsburgh a win over New York in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Jake Guentzel scored twice and Bryan Rust had a goal and two assists for the Penguins. Sidney Crosby also had two assists. Casey DeSmith had 48 saves before leaving the game midway through the second overtime. Louis Domingue, who appeared in only two games during the regular season, came on and had 17 saves.
On the winning goal, Malkin was positioned in front of the net when he tipped a long shot by John Marino over Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin.
Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, and Adam Fox and Andrew Copp also scored for the Rangers. Mika Zibanejad had two assists. Shesterkin finished with 79 saves, second to the NHL record of 85 saves by Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo in the 2020 playoffs.
Washington 4, (at) Florida 2: T.J. Oshie scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, Vitek Vanecek stopped 30 shots and the Washington Capitals rallied past the top-seeded Florida Panthers 4-2 in the opener of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night.
Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller also scored for Washington, which trailed 2-1 going into the third period. Teams had been 0-39-1 against Florida in the regular season when trailing after 40 minutes, 0-22-0 when doing so on the Panthers’ home ice.
The Capitals must have ignored those numbers. Kuznetsov tied the game after a Florida turnover with 11:46 left, then Oshie got behind the defense and tapped a pass by Sergei Bobrovsky for what became the winner 2:23 later.
Eller wrapped it up with an empty-netter with 49 seconds left.
Claude Giroux and Sam Bennett scored for Florida, which has not won the opening game of a postseason series since 1997. Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers.
Game 2 is Thursday in Florida.
(At) Colorado 7, Nashville 2: Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews scored 22 seconds apart in a five-goal first period, sending Colorado over Nashville in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
The five goals tied the team playoff record for a period and chased Nashville’s backup goaltender David Rittich from the game with 4:56 remaining in the first.
Andrew Cogliano, Cale Makar and Artturi Lehkonen also scored in the first. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog built the lead to 6-0 in the second period. MacKinnon finished with two goals and Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves.
(At) Calgary 1, Dallas 0: Elias Lindholm scored and Jacob Markstrom recorded his second career playoff shutout as the Calgary Flames beat the Dallas Stars 1-0 Tuesday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
Lindholm scored a power-play goal early in the first period. Markstrom stopped all 16 shots he faced as Calgary earned just its second playoff win at the Saddledome since 2015.
Dallas goal Jake Oettinger stopped 25 of 26 shots and lost his NHL playoff debut.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday in Calgary. The series shifts to Dallas for Saturday’s Game 3 and Monday’s Game 4.
Offense highlights openers
So much for the notion that goals are hard to come by in the playoffs. If the opening night of the chase for the Stanley Cup is an indication of what’s to come, the NHL is in for another wildly unpredictable postseason.
Granted, Game 1 is a small sample size. But losing teams were outscored 18-4 on Monday night, with three teams losing by four or more goals and the Kings and Oilers combining to score seven times in the only opener decided by a single goal.
Even reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy posted ugly numbers – allowing five goals on 33 shots to Toronto – after going 16-7 with a 1.90 goals against average and .937 save percentage in helping Tampa Bay win the second of back-to-back Stanley Cup titles a year ago.
Toronto handed the Lightning their worst playoff loss under coach Jon Cooper in a 5-0 road loss.
“It’s the classic, you’ve got to turn the page,” Cooper said, adding he’s confident Vasilevskiy and the two-time defending champions will rebound with a strong performance in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
The St. Louis Blues blanked the Minnesota Wild 4-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury giving up four goals on 31 shots.
Carolina, meanwhile, scored four times in 24 shots against Boston’s Linus Ullmark on the way to a 5-1 win over the Bruins.
In the only game not decided by multiple goals, Phillip Danault scored late as the Kings took advantage of Edmonton goalie Mike Smith failing to clear the puck from behind his net to beat the Oilers 4-3.
The opening-night scoring barrage came after a regular season in which teams combined to average 6.29 goals per game – up from 5.87 the previous year.
Monday night was also a busy night for officials, who doled out 48 penalty minutes in Blues-Wild. A combined 24 penalties were called in Lightning-Maple Leafs, resulting in a whopping 113 penalty minutes.