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Crosby, Penguins have Rangers on brink heading into Game 5 | Sports



Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins had been stymied by Igor Shesterkin throughout the common season. They have now chased the the New York Rangers’ Vezina Trophy finalist the final two video games and are one win from advancing to the second spherical of the playoffs for the primary time in 4 years.

They can do this Wednesday night time in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, the place they earned a break up of the primary two video games.

After scoring simply 4 objectives in opposition to Shesterkin in 4 regular-season video games, the Penguins have torched him for 10 objectives in three durations during the last two video games. He left after giving up 4 objectives within the first interval of Game 3 after which once more after permitting six in two durations of Game 4.

“He’s probably real frustrated. There’s probably four goals that were deflected (Monday night),” New York coach Gerard Gallant mentioned after the 7-2 loss in Game 5 earlier than declaring he intends to stay with Shesterkin for Game 5. “He’ll be back in there and he’ll be ready to win the next game Wednesday night. I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him. … He’s the best goalie in the league.”

As stunning as Shesterkin’s struggles have been, so has the strong play of Penguins goalie Louis Domingue. Pittsburgh’s No. 3 goalie was thrust into the highlight because of accidents to starter Tristan Jarry and backup Casey DeSmith, and has gone 3-1 with a 3.40 goals-against common and a .906 save-percentage.

The Penguins, making their sixteenth straight postseason appearnace, even have a whole lot of confidence after their newest win moved them to the verge of advancing for the primary time since reaching the second spherical in 2018 following back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.

“We got to stay hungry and just stay in the moment,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan mentioned. “We have a veteran leadership, we have a great group in there that has been through a lot of playoff experiences and they understand how hard it is. The elimination game is always the most difficult.”

After totaling three objectives and three assists the earlier three postseasons, Crosby has two objectives and 7 assists on this sequence. He expects the Rangers to deliver their greatest.

“We know we have a lot of work left,” he mentioned. “They’re a good hockey team. We’ve definitely got an opportunity but we know it’s going to be a big challenge going to New York.”

CAPITALS at PANTHERS, sequence tied 2-2 (7:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN2)

The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers rallied within the third interval of Game 4 to even the sequence and regain home-ice benefit. They had been a league-best 34-7-0 at house throughout the season.

“I’m just happy we won the game and we can go back home in front of our home fans and compete again with the series tied,” Verhaege mentioned. “It’s a best-of-three now. We have home-ice advantage again, so that’s the thing I think about most.”

A key stat to control: of 277 earlier occasions a best-of-seven sequence was tied after 4 video games, the winner of Game 5 has superior 219 occasions (79.1%).

The Capitals, the second wild card within the Eastern Conference, know they squandered an opportunity to take a commanding sequence lead. Instead, they’re even in a sequence that has seen the groups alternate wins.

“It was in our hands,” mentioned ahead Evgeny Kuznetsov, who gave Washington a 2-1 lead halfway via the third interval. “There is no panic. Still have a pretty good chance.”

STARS at FLAMES, sequence tied 2-2 (9:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN)

The Pacific Division champion Flames bounced again from consecutive losses to even the sequence with a 4-1 win in Game 4.

Johnny Gaudreau received his first objective of the sequence on a penalty shot within the third interval and Calgary by no means trailed. Game 5 is Wednesday on the Saddledome, the place the Flames went 25-9-7 within the common season.

“It’s nice to get that win, but I think the momentum is we’re going home and playing in front of our fans,” Gaudreau mentioned. “Now it’s a three-game series.”

The Flames totaled simply three objectives whereas shedding two of the primary three video games however exceeded that output with sustained offensive-zone stress in Game 4.

“We had a lot of long shifts in their zone,” Calgary’s Rasmus Andersson mentioned. “We didn’t take too many penalties, so we get to play 5-on-5 and that’s where we’re a really good team.”

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Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP

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