Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated

Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated

The Pittsburgh Penguins seemed destined to be heading to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs when they had taken a commanding 3-1 series lead over the New York Rangers. However, the Rangers refused to quit and on Sunday evening they completed the incredible comeback by knocking off the Penguins 4-3 in overtime.

Artemi Panarin ended the series with a power-play goal just 4:46 into the first overtime period. Panarin rifled his shot past Penguins’ goaltender Tristan Jarry to send the crowd at Madison Square Garden into a frenzy.

“Overall, honestly, they’ve been letting me shoot since the first game,” Panarin told members of the media through a translator following his team’s victory, via ESPN. “Kind of my bad, I haven’t really been making those shots. But maybe I should listen to everyone’s advice and actually get out there and take shots.”

Despite the fact Panarin isn’t always the most aggressive shooter, his head coach Gerard Gallant said he was confident that the 30-year-old Russian would find the back of the net for the Rangers.

“He’s the guy,” Gallant said “when it was heading into overtime, I said to myself, ‘I know he’s going to score if we score. If we get the winning goal, it’s going to be him.”

The Rangers showed incredible mental fortitude to come back from being down 3-1 in the series, but what makes the feat even more impressive is that they were also down in all three games they had been facing elimination in. They are the first team in National Hockey League history to ever win three consecutive elimination games after being down in all of them.

“It’s a huge win for the team, for the organization,” Rangers’ defenseman Jacob Trouba said, via ESPN. “A gutsy performance, coming back again. That whole ‘No Quit In New York’ thing is pretty true with this group.”

For the Penguins, it’s another season that ends in heartbreak. They have failed to get past the first round of the playoffs in the last four consecutive seasons and have won just one playoff series since they last lifted the Stanley Cup in 2017.

“Tonight, we’re on the wrong ends of some bounces,” Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby said following his team’s loss, via ESPN. “We played a great game tonight, we played some good hockey throughout the series. We didn’t get that next one tonight that was probably the difference but I think even when we had those leads we still played the right way. Tonight was an example of one game, anything can happen.”

With Crosby turning 35-years-old this summer and Evgeni Malkin turning 36-years-old in July, time is running out for the Penguins to win another championship with the dynamic duo. The pair have helped lead the franchise to a total of three Stanley Cups and are desperate to win one more before they hang their skates up.

The New York Rangers now get set to meet the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the playoffs, with game one of the series taking place on Wednesday evening.