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Rangers push Penguins to Game 7 in New York with 5-3 win


“I think the playoffs can sometimes reveal who you are, what kind of character you have,” Kreider said. “For him to stay with his game and keep working, he’s been a huge, huge leader for us all year. He was an absolute horse.

The Rangers trailed 2-0 after one period and the Penguins, playing without star center and captain Sidney Crosby, were 40 minutes from advancing to the second round. But Zibanejad scored two one-time slap shots in 76 seconds to tie the game.

“There is no giving up,” Zibanejad said of the comeback. “That’s what I love about this team.”

A few minutes later, there was another mad breakaway. The game started when Rangers keeper Igor Shesterkin took advantage of a poor Penguins line change and delivered a perfect 100-foot pass on Zibanejad’s stick. Zibanejad was alone again.

“His passing is better than all of us sometimes,” Zibanejad said of Shesterkin’s stickwork.

Penguins goaltender Louis Domingue made the first save on Zibanejad, but Kreider was there with his linemate, and he slammed the rebound to give Rangers a 3-2 lead. If that sounds like the Game 5 scoring pattern at Madison Square Garden, it was, and would continue, until the last goal in an empty New York net at the end.

Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins to even things up, 3-3, on a breakaway late in the second period. The game remained tied until just 1:28 remained. Kreider then fired a high slap shot which Domingue saved in front of his chest, but the puck spun over his head and landed behind him and into the net.

“Nobody said it would be easy,” Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said. “They are a very good team. They have a lot of talented players who can score goals.

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