Verhaeghe leads Comeback Cats to Game 5 win

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The New York Rangers rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 5-3 victory in Game 5 to stay alive in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The entire complication of the game, and perhaps the series, changed after Sidney Crosby left the game late in the second period due to an upper-body injury.

Crosby has a long history with concussions, so there is obviously a great deal of concern when he takes contact to the head. Pittsburgh was already playing without Rickard Rakell because of a high hit in Game 1 as well as goaltenders Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.

Not having Crosby available for Game 6 on Friday would be by far the biggest loss. He leads all players in the series in scoring with nine points (two goals, seven assists), which also has him tied for second overall. The only update following the game on Crosby’s status from the Penguins was that he was being evaluated.

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PITTSBURGH 3 NY RANGERS 5 (Penguins lead series 3-2)

Alexis Lafreniere and Jacob Trouba had one goal and one assist each for the Rangers. Lafreniere also added three shots, three hits and one block, while Trouba had four shots, two hits and three blocks.

Jake Guentzel potted a pair of goals for the Penguins on a game-high six shots. He has lit the lamp seven times in the postseason, with at least one goal in all five games.

Kris Letang had the other goal for Pittsburgh, which gave the team a 2-0 lead just before the eight-minute mark of the second period.

Adam Fox, Filip Chytil (power play) and Ryan Lindgren (empty-netter) also found the back of the net for New York

Evgeni Malkin registered two assists, while picking up two shots and three blocks.

Jason Zucker, Bryan Rust, Mike Matheson, Artemi Panarin. Ryan Strome. Andrew Copp, Kaapo Kakko, Frank Vatrano and K’Andre Miller posted one assist apiece.

Marcus Pettersson led all skaters with five blocks.

Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves on 32 shots to get back into the win column. He was pulled in his previous two starts.

Louis Domingue stopped 29 of 33 shots in the loss. He had a two-game win streak snapped in the process.

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WASHINGTON 3 FLORIDA 5 (Panthers lead series 3-2)

Carter Verhaeghe amassed five points, with two goals and three assists, to power the offense of the Panthers and put his team in the driver’s seat of the series.

Verhaeghe is currently tied for the lead in playoff scoring with Colorado’s Cale Makar with 10 points. All 10 of his points have come at even strength.

T.J. Oshie scored twice and Justin Schultz had one to give the Capitals a 3-0 lead just over three minutes into the second stanza.

Florida stormed back thanks mainly to Verhaeghe, but also got goals from Patric Hornqvist, Sam Reinhart and Claude Giroux.

Giroux added an assist for a multi-point effort. Additionally, he had five shots and two hits.

Aleksander Barkov and Evgeny Kuznetsov supplied two assists apiece. Barkov also had a game-high six shots

Alex Ovechkin, Lars Eller, Connor McMichael, John Carlson. Sam Bennett and Gustav Forsling chipped in one helper each.

Martin Fehervary had a game-high eight hits.

Sergei Bobrovsky shielded 30 shots in the victory. He has won his past two outings.

Ilya Samsonov surrendered five goals on 38 shots in the loss. He has lost his past two starts

DALLAS 1 CALGARY 2 (Flames lead the series 3-2)

Andrew Mangiapane generated one goal and one assist for his first points of the series. He led the comeback charge with both points coming in the third period, including the game winner.

Jason Robertson also finally got the board with his first goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the 13:21 mark of the second stanza to give the Stars a 1-0 lead through two periods.

Mikael Backlund had one goal and helper in the contest for Calgary as well.

Trevor Lewis rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation.

Jamie Benn, Esa Lindell, Blake Coleman, Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov accounted for one assist apiece.

Jani Hakanpaa had a game-high five hits, while being credited with two shots and two blocks.

Jacob Markstrom turned aside 20 shots for the win. He has won his past two appearances

Jake Oettinger made 29 saves on 31 shots in the loss. He has lost his past two outings despite superb performances.