PITTSBURGH — Derick Brassard scored twice and the New York Rangers avoided elimination with a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday night.
Chris Kreider ended New York’s 0-for-36 slide with the man advantage to open the scoring against Marc-Andre Fleury. Ryan McDonagh added another power-play goal in the second to help the Rangers force Game 6 in New York on Sunday.
Kevin Klein also scored, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots.
Evgeni Malkin had his third goal of the series for Pittsburgh. Fleury made 30 saves but lacked the crispness that allowed the Penguins to sweep Games 3 and 4 in New York.
WILD 4, BLACKHAWKS 2
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jason Pominville scored for Minnesota in the second period off the back of Chicago goalie Corey Crawford’s skate and the Wild evened the Western Conference semifinals 2-2.
Matt Cooke returned from his seven-game kneeing suspension to give the Wild a jolt, assisting on Justin Fontaine’s opening goal. Nino Niederreiter and Jared Spurgeon also scored.
Crawford made 27 saves, but he gave up four goals for the second straight game.
Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus scored for the defending champion Blackhawks.
The teams will return to Chicago for Game 5 on Sunday night and be back in Minnesota for Game 6 on Tuesday night.