The Journal Gazette
Saturday, May 14, 2022 1:00 am

NHL Playoffs

Rangers bounce Penguins, force Game 7 in NY

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH – Chris Kreider's long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on Friday night to push their thrilling first-round series to a deciding Game 7.

Kreider's second of the game and fourth of the playoffs sent the series back to New York. Andrew Copp added an empty netter for good measure in the waning seconds. Game 7 is Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Mike Zibanejad had two goals and two assists and Adam Fox had four assists. Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 shots to win at PPG Paints Arena for the first time this series after getting chased by Pittsburgh in Games 3 and 4.

Domingue, who has become a local folk hero while filling in for injured Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, made 33 saves but couldn't get a handle on Kreider's shot, which seemed to hit him high then popped up into the air and behind him before rolling into the net.

Pittsburgh played without captain Sidney Crosby, who sat out while dealing with an upper-body injury. His status going forward is uncertain.

PANTHERS 4, CAPITALS 3, OT: At Washington, Carter Verhaeghe scored the OT winner to give Florida the franchise's first playoff series victory since 1996 when it reached the Stanley Cup Final.

The Panthers will have home-ice advantage for their next series against either the cross-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning or the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Florida looked to be on the verge of a regulation victory and the firstround series victory when Gustav Forsling tripped Nicklas Backstrom with 1:09 left in the third period.

T.J. Oshie scored six seconds into the Washington power play to send the sellout crowd of over 18,000 into a frenzy.

Canucks sticking with Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau, former player and coach in Fort Wayne and father of Komets coach Ben Boudreau, will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement.

Speaking Friday after completing a “rough round” of golf, Boudreau said “we have some unfinished business in Vancouver and I want to complete the task.”

Boudreau, 67, took over behind the bench Dec. 5, after the Canucks started 8-15-2 start, resulting in the dismissal of head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning. The Canucks went 32-15-10 the rest of the season and went from last place in the Pacific to five points out of a playoff berth.

Boudreau coached his 1,000th regular-season game on Jan. 23, and he is one victory shy of the 600-win milestone.

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