National Hockey League
NY Rangers Rangers
ML: NYR +150
Pittsburgh Penguins
ML: PIT -166
Goalie Performance
Antti Raanta
#32 G Antti Raanta
Marc-Andre Fleury
#29 G Marc-Andre Fleury
0.935 SV% 29 SV
0.886 SV% 31 SV
Scoring Leaders
Kevin Hayes
#13 RW Kevin Hayes Goals Assists 1 1
Michael Grabner
#40 RW Michael Grabner Goals Assists 1 1
Rick Nash
#61 RW Rick Nash Goals Assists 1 1
Jake Guentzel
#59 C Jake Guentzel Goals Assists 2 0
Phil Kessel
#81 RW Phil Kessel Goals Assists 0 2
Evgeni Malkin
#71 C Evgeni Malkin Goals Assists 0 1

PITTSBURGH -- J.T. Miller was mindful that he was on the ice as a penalty-killer, so he was turning away from the play, ready to head back to his own end. Then he figured out that the puck glanced off of him and into the Pittsburgh net for what was eventually the New York Rangers' deciding goal.

The puck, sent to the net by teammate Kevin Hayes, appeared to first hit the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin before it went off of Miller for a shorthanded goal in the second period of a 5-2 Rangers win Monday at PPG Paints Arena.

"No, I didn't; I actually didn't even know it went off me," said Miller, who is from nearby East Palestine, Ohio. "I just kind of ran into Malkin a little bit there. I obviously thought Hayes scored. ... I tried to bust up the ice and got a fortunate bounce."

It was the third of three unanswered goals by New York in the second period. That negated a smashing NHL debut by Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel.

Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Miller scored in the second after Guentzel scored his first two goals, including one on his first shift and first shot, in the opening period. Hayes added an insurance goal for the Rangers at 12:46 of the third, and Derek Stepan scored an empty-netter.

The win allowed New York to break a two-game losing streak and stiff-arm Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division. The teams play the second half of a back-to-back set Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

The Penguins called up Guentzel because winger Chris Kunitz was put on injured reserve. He played in Kunitz's spot on the second line.

Guentzel, 22, a third-round draft pick in 2013, cashed in for a 1-0 lead at 1:02 of the first. His shot from just below the left dot slid under goaltender Antti Raanta's left pad and inside the far post. An astute broadcast crew caught Guentzel's family jumping up and down in wild celebration in the stands.

"It was a dream," Guentzel said. "I was just trying to throw the puck on the net and see what happens."

Malkin got the primary assist, extending his home points streak to seven games.

Guentzel wasn't the first Penguins player to score on his first shot in the NHL, or the most famous. The most recent was defenseman Derrick Pouliot, who did it Dec. 20, 2014, against Florida. The most notable was Hall of Fame center Mario Lemieux, who did it Oct. 11, 1984, at Boston, also on his first shift.

Neither of those players got another goal in the same period, however. Guentzel made it 2-0 at 13:12 on a close-range rebound, giving Pittsburgh a 2-0 edge.

"He's got real good offensive instincts," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said of Guentzel. "We're really excited about him as a player. He comes to our team tonight, he brings a lot of enthusiasm. That becomes infectious. We're obviously thrilled for him that he had such a great game in his first game."

Phil Kessel assisted on both goals, giving him a team-leading 18 points and a share of the NHL lead with 14 assists.

New York has the most prolific offense in the NHL, now with 80 goals in 20 games, and that part of its game would not stay quiet.

Nash pulled the Rangers to within 2-1 at 4:51 of the second. He pounced on a loose puck near the crease and lifted it over the glove of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

"(Defenseman Justin) Schultz made a good play stopping the pass across, and it got kind of stuck there and the guy just came in and put it in," said Fleury (6-4-3), who made 31 saves.

He had been 5-1-1 at home and 19-4-2 in his previous 25 starts.

Fleury, the longtime Pittsburgh franchise goalie who now is in something of a rotation with Matt Murray, has allowed four goals in two of his past three starts.

"It's just frustrating to give up four again and lose the game again," he said.

At 14:23 of the second, Grabner grabbed a share of the NHL goal lead with his 12th and tied the score 2-2 when he rifled a shot under the crossbar.

New York took a 3-2 lead with 48.5 seconds left in the second on Miller's shorthanded goal.

"We know a lot about this team," Miller said of Pittsburgh. "We've played them so much over the last handful of years. We were just on our heels a little too much to start. We were a little too passive, and we were more aggressive after that. When we did that, we kind of forced them into more turnovers and got a couple more lucky bounces. We did a really good job of defending after that as well."

Raanta, who made 29 saves and stopped every Penguins shot taken by those not named Guentzel, said the comeback -- one that allowed the backup goalie to keep his record unblemished at 5-0 -- was plotted out between periods.

"After the first period, we talked about it a little bit," he said. "We started to put pucks deep and behind their (defensemen). We started to get our forecheck going and when those good things happen, as they've been happening early in the season, guys get the chance to score and they put the puck in the net."

NOTES: Pittsburgh placed LW Chris Kunitz (lower body) on injured reserve. Coach Mike Sullivan said Kunitz will be out on a "week-to-week" basis. ... To fill Kunitz's roster spot, the Penguins recalled C Jake Guentzel from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. Guentzel made his NHL debut. ... Pittsburgh RW Patric Hornqvist (concussion) continues to skate on his own. ... The Rangers claimed F Matt Puempel off waivers from Ottawa. Puempel did not play Monday, and it is not clear whether he will join New York or be given a minor league assignment. ... With C Mika Zibanejad (broken left leg) out for several weeks, the Rangers dressed C Oscar Lindberg, who had played in seven of the previous 14 games. ... New York coach Alain Vigneault said RW Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms) will be out at least another two to three weeks while he undergoes rehab to strengthen his core. ... The Penguins collected donations for policeman Scott Bashioum's family. Bashioum was killed in the line of duty recently in nearby Canonsburg, Pa.
Top Game Performances
NY Rangers   Pittsburgh
Michael Grabner 2 Points Jake Guentzel 2
Michael Grabner 1 Goals Jake Guentzel 2
Ryan McDonagh 2 Assists Phil Kessel 2
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
J.T. Miller 1 Short Handed Goals N/A
Antti Raanta .935 Save Percentage Marc-Andre Fleury .886
Antti Raanta 29 Saves Marc-Andre Fleury 31
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
NY Rangers 36 5 0-1 2-2 8 28
Pittsburgh 31 2 0-2 1-1 6 26
Upcoming Games
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game on the road against NY Rangers. The Penguins have a W/L % of .455 after a win and .750 after a loss.
  • NY Rangers will play their next game at home against Pittsburgh. The Rangers have a W/L % of .615 after a win and .857 after a loss.