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(Gene J. Puskar | The Associated Press) New York Rangers' Derick Brassard (16) celebrates his game-winning goal with teammate Mats Zuccarello (36) in the first overtime period of Game 1 of a second-round NHL hockey playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Friday, May 2, 2014. The R angers won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
NHL playoffs:

New York surprises Pittsburgh in series opener, 3-2.

First Published May 02 2014 11:46 pm • Last Updated May 02 2014 11:46 pm

Pittsburgh • The best line on hockey’s busiest team hardly looked gassed.

The way Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot were furiously pouring in overtime goals, the New York Rangers didn’t exactly look like a group in need of a day off.

At a glance

NHL playoffs

Friday

» N.Y. Rangers 3, Pittsburgh 2 (OT)

Rangers lead series 1-0

» Chicago 5, Minnesota 2

Hawks lead series 1-0

Saturday

» Montreal at Boston, 10:30 a.m., Ch. 5

Canadiens lead series 1-0

» Los Angeles at Anaheim, 6 p.m., NBCSN

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Brassard beat Marc-Andre Fleury 3:06 into overtime — with Pouliot bizarrely doing the same seven seconds later — and the Rangers stunned the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday night.

The winner officially went to Brassard, whose wrist shot from in front beat Fleury cleanly but caromed back onto the ice. Referee Steve Kozari waved it off, however, and play continued before Pouliot slammed the puck into a wide-open net moments later for good measure.

"I found out way later [Brassard] got the goal," Pouliot said. "Good for him. We’ve been playing well against Philly and now tonight. We deserved that."

Pouliot and Brad Richards gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots and stuffed a late Pittsburgh breakaway in the final seconds of regulation. The line of Pouliot, Brassard and Mats Zuccarello combined for 14 points in New York’s four regular-season meetings with the Penguins.

Blackhawks 5, Wild 2 • In Chicago, Patrick Kane scored two goals in the third period, including a terrific dash through the Minnesota zone for the tiebreaking score, in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Bryan Bickell also scored twice for the Blackhawks, who have won five in a row after losing their first two playoff games. Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist as the defending Stanley Cup champions made the most of two costly high-sticking penalties on Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday afternoon.




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