Evgeni Malkin deflected Sidney Crosby's one-timer from the right point on a Pittsburgh power play with 1:41 remaining to finish a frantic comeback, and the Penguins rallied from a three-goal deficit against the New York Rangers for a 5-4 victory in their second-round playoff series opener last night in Pittsburgh.
Petr Sykora and Marian Hossa scored 20 seconds apart early in the third period, and the Penguins shook off Scott Gomez's tying goal midway through the period for one of best comeback victories in their playoff history.
"A game is never finished for us," Sykora said. "We have the power to score a lot of goals here. It doesn't matter if we're down one, two, three goals."
The Rangers lost for the first time in four road games in these playoffs, an unexpected ending after they seized the momentum with a 3-0 lead that looked very safe with Henrik Lundqvist in net.
Game 2 is tomorrow.
Just when it appeared the Atlantic Division rivals were headed to overtime, one of the many former Penguins who played a key role in the game, Martin Straka, was called for interference with 3:20 remaining.
Crosby took Ryan Whitney's pass and, shooting from a little beyond his normal range from a few feet behind the right circle, put a slap shot on net that deflected off Malkin's shin guard for the Penguins' only power-play goal. The play was briefly reviewed.
The Rangers tied it halfway through the period when Jaromir Jaromir Jagr found Gomez for a one-timer.
Long before that, Jarkko Ruutu and Pascal Dupuis scored in a span of 14 seconds midway through the second period to get the Penguins back in it after the crafty, patient Rangers took a three-goal advantage.
The Rangers took their big lead on goals by Straka, Chris Drury, and Sean Avery against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Stars 3, Sharks 2 - Even in the playoffs, Brenden Morrow and his "San Jose Stars" still rock the Shark Tank.
Morrow scored his second goal 4:39 into overtime, and Dallas opened their second-round series with a victory at San Jose.
Mike Modano also scored, and Marty Turco made 25 saves in the Stars' seventh win in their last eight trips to Silicon Valley. They've dominated the Sharks in San Jose for two years, leading Modano to jokingly rename his team after their sixth straight win in January.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored the tying goal for San Jose with 3:02 left in regulation, but the Sharks' defensive sloth allowed Mattias Norstrom to whip the puck across the ice to Morrow early in OT. The Dallas captain scored easily against an off-balance Evgeni Nabokov, who finished with 16 saves.
Game 2 is tomorrow night at the Shark Tank, with Game 3 in Dallas Tuesday.
Morrow has five goals - two more than his career postseason high - in seven playoff games.