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“That’s a first for me. Haven’t been hit in the ear like that,” said Klein, who was clipped on the left ear by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Zach Sill’s stick in the first period, drawing blood and 4-minute power play.
“Pain’s only temporary,” he said, acknowledging the streak of blood on his cheek and the 13 stitches that reattatched part of his ear during the game.
Especially when it’s followed by euphoria, as Klein’s goal with 1:15 left in overtime gave the Rangers a 4-3 win over the shorthanded Penguins.
It was Klein’s sixth of the season, building on what’s already a career high for him.
So is he confident because of his goal total, or his goal total a byproduct of his confidence?
“Maybe a little bit of both,” he said. “I had a lot of time. Their forward was a little bit low, so I had a lot of time to get my head up and place it.”
He placed it through the arm and blocker of Marc-Andre Fleury for the overtime winner.
It was an important win for the Rangers, after backing blown a two-goal lead in just 24 seconds in the third period. It’s a point taken from a division foe, in a game that could have easily see them squander one.
“We got a bounce. They got a bounce late. That’s hockey,” said Klein. “Our bench just turned to each other and said ‘let’s keep going.’ And we did."
Bloody right they did.
s/t Costa Tsiokos for the image