The were poised to party back home in Pittsburgh on Monday night, as the Pens sent their game with the Rangers into overtime, with the prospect of clinching first overall in the east in the balance.
However, as these things are sometimes destined to go, the Rangers regained their focus and put away the Pens with a Chris Drury overtime winner that delays the celebration of excellence in Pennsylvania for at least a couple of days.
In another entertaining and tightly played contest the two teams entered the overtime tied one a piece, after the two teams played a scoreless first period, the Rangers taking a goal in the second, while the Penguins got it back with less than ten minutes remaining in the third.
Jaromir Jagr scored the regulation time goal for the Rangers, his 21st on the season, a power play marker that provided all sorts of drama as it bounced off of Pittsburgh defender Rob Scuderi's glove before it ricocheted off of Marc Andre Fleury's mask and into the net.
Maxime Talbot scored the equalizer the old fashioned way taking a nifty pass from Ryan Malone and turning it into a key goal with time winding down.
As things turned out, the comeback was all for naught once Drury took advantage of an overtime man advantage to score the winning goal less than two minutes into the extra frame.
Pittsburgh can try again to clinch their championship status in the Atlantic Division and increase their lead over all in the Eastern conference when they play the Flyers in a home and home series to wrap up the regular season, game one of the two game showcase goes on Wednesday night while the second match is set for Sunday.
As for the Rangers the win moved them ahead of the tumbling Ottawa Senators, the Rangers moved into fifth place with Monday's win, they have three games remaining, a home and home match up with their rivals on Long Island and then a match up across the Hudson River with the New Jersey Devils.
Globe and Mail--Penguins will have to wait to clinch
New York Daily News--Chris Drury powers Rangers past Penguins with overtime goal at Garden
New York Post-- Dru Grit
Pittsburgh Post Gazette--Penguins fall short in OT, but title closer despite loss
Pittsburgh Tribune Review--Rangers foil Pens’ attempt to wrap up Atlantic Division
Photo from New York Daily news website