Zherdev, Sjostrom give Rangers SO win

October 25, 2008 7:08:06 PM PDT
Nikolai Zherdev scored with 8.1 seconds left to force overtime and Fredrik Sjostrom netted the only goal of the shootout in the New York Rangers' stirring 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.The Penguins had their three-game winning streak snapped despite entering the third period with a 2-0 lead. Marc-Andre Fleury made 42 saves, but couldn't deny Zherdev and Sjostrom, who helped the Rangers improve to 8-2-1.

Sidney Crosby, who scored his third goal in four games, had a chance to match Sjostrom's third-round shootout goal but was forced wide right by Henrik Lundqvist and couldn't score from a tough angle.

Zherdev had gone four games without a point before posting a goal and two assists in a successful return to Columbus against his former Blue Jackets teammates on Friday. His wrist shot from the right circle in the final seconds of regulation sailed over Fleury's shoulder to tie it at 2.

Sjostrom tucked the puck inside the right post with a backhand in the final round of the shootout. Markus Naslund also scored for New York.

The Penguins outshot the Rangers 4-2 in a fast-paced overtime, but trailed overall 44-29.

It was a good night all around for the Rangers, who had coach Tom Renney back on the bench one night after he sustained a concussion when he was struck in the head by a stick during a 3-1 win at Columbus on Friday.

After Crosby fired wide at the empty net in the closing seconds of the third, Naslund rushed the puck up ice and found Zherdev with a pass. The speedy winger zipped a shot that sailed over Fleury's shoulder.

Pittsburgh defenseman Darryl Sydor scored a rare goal in the first period and Crosby made it 2-0 in the second for the Penguins, who eliminated the Rangers in the second round of the playoffs last season.

The Rangers failed on a 2-minute, 5-on-3 power play in the second period, but wrecked Fleury's shutout bid 5:09 into the third when Naslund scored 7 seconds into another man advantage.

New York had just finished off a solid penalty kill when the Penguins grabbed a 1-0 lead. Sydor fired a shot from the left point that hit the leg of New York defenseman Michal Rozsival and caromed past Lundqvist, who threw his head back and then swept the puck out of the net with disgust.

The goal, scored 9:04 into the first, came 3 seconds after Wade Redden left the penalty box.

Crosby doubled Pittsburgh's lead with 4:01 left in the frame.

Pittsburgh gave the Rangers a chance to get back in it when Mike Zigomanis and Brooks Orpik took simultaneous penalties with 3:24 left in the second. New York recorded seven shots on goal but still trailed 2-0.

Scott Gomez helped New York get on the board when he found Naslund in front from the goal line for a one-timed shot.


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