After the Lightning lagged through the start of the second period, Kucherov's second goal tied the game at 2. Seconds earlier, the stick of Rangers defenceman Marc Staal caught Lundqvist inside the eye hole of his mask.
New York Rangers (M3) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (M2) Series Price: Pittsburgh -175/New York +155 Game 1 Price: Pittsburgh -145 O/U 5 The injury list is long for both squads entering this series. The Penguins, clearly faster than the teams that lost to NY the last two springs, had 11 short-handed goals during the season, second-most in the league. The explosive ability of Pittsburgh's skaters has been their best strength for years, and Kessel being added to the squad only intensifies their need to create turnovers and get the little black biscuit in transition. Stepan finished the pretty tic-tac-toe passing play, his shot barely eluding the stick of Zatkoff.
Jeff Zatkoff started for the Penguins, after Marc-Andre Fleury couldn't go.
The status of any of the injured goaltenders is still unknown for Saturday's game. Fleury has practiced and could return to action but as of right now, it's still unclear who takes the crease for game one.
"When the guys are scoring like that, four or five goals, we're going to win a lot of games", Zatkoff said. "We have to help him, and it's one of those things where you go out and play your game and if you make a mistake, Hank is there to save you", Klein said.
Not that it seemed to bother Zatkoff with Lundqvist - making his 111th career playoff start - on the other end of the ice.
But even if that is the case, what Zatkoff accomplished in turning aside 35 of 37 shots and earning his first playoff victory will not be forgotten by his teammates or the Penguins' fans, who are all too used to having playoff moments like this turn badly for the home side. Their offense is predicated on setting up shots with clever passing and discipline if they are unable to do that they may find themselves on their heels all series. "I can't say enough about Jeff and how he's handled the situation that he's been in over the last couple months". Though Lundqvist gave up a goal in the final seconds of the opening period, it was just minutes after sustaining the hit.
Finally, Hornqvist was the recipient of a Crosby stretch pass late in the third period, leading to an empty-net goal. The wrist shot zipped over Raanta's glove and the Penguins were up 2-0. He hasn't played since March 31, though he did practice in the run-up to Game 1. "His will to win, you can't measure it".
"On behalf of our ownership group and the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, I would like to sincerely thank Don for all of his hard work and the many contributions he made to our organization during his tenure", Coyotes President, and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement.
He remained in the game after a brief consultation with team doctors before surrendering the goal to Hornqvist, which snuck through the pads on a rebound attempt.