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Roundup: Rangers capture opener in OT

Rangers players, including Derick Brassard (left), celebrated Brassard’s overtime goal against Pittsburgh.

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Rangers players, including Derick Brassard (left), celebrated Brassard’s overtime goal against Pittsburgh.

Derick Brassard beat Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury 3:06 into overtime — with Benoit Pouliot bizarrely doing the same seven seconds later — and the New York Rangers stunned the host 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.

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‘‘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.

They were the best trio on the ice on a team barely 48 hours removed from a wearying seven-game victory over Philadelphia in the opening round.

Lee Stempniak and James Neal scored for the Penguins. Fleury made 24 saves, but was helpless on the winner.

‘‘It was just a big pile of guys and I was trying to find the puck out of it,’’ Fleury said.

Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby was held without a goal for the 12th straight playoff game as the Rangers took away much of the open ice where Crosby likes to operate.

Pouliot gave New York the lead 5:04 into first period, capitalizing on a Pittsburgh turnover then splitting Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen before firing a wrist shot that caromed off Fleury’s right arm and into the net.

Richards doubled the lead late in the period with his third and easiest goal of the postseason. Carl Hagelin beat Maatta to a puck in the corner and fed it to Richards, who had enough time in front to go from his backhand to his forehand and flip the puck by an overmatched Fleury.

Whatever sluggishness the Penguins felt after a three-day layoff vanished in the second.

Stempniak cut the lead in half by taking a nice drop pass from Beau Bennett then streaking down the middle and beating Lundqvist with a backhand 7:15 into the period.

Neal tied it just over six minutes later thanks to a rare mistake by Lundqvist, who deflected Neal’s into the air then had it glance off his back and into the net. Lundqvist pleaded with officials that Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin had interfered with him while trying to make the save, but replays showed Malkin’s high-stick swat didn’t come close to touching the puck.

New York gathered itself before the third and the teams traded chances over the final 20 minutes of regulation with Lundqvist stopping a slap shot from Stempniak in the final 15 seconds to send it to overtime.

Blackhawks 5, Wild 2 — Patrick Kane scored two goals for Chicago in the third period, including a terrific dash through the Minnesota zone for the tiebreaking score as host Chicago won 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.

The Wild showed no sign of any fatigue just two days after their dramatic 5-4 OT win in Game 7 of their first-round series against Colorado. Playing in the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2003, Minnesota used third-period goals from Clayton Stoner and Kyle Brodziak to tie it at 2.

Brodziak’s third goal of playoffs on a slick pass from Erik Haula silenced the sellout crowd of 21,116 with 13:04 left, but Kane then electrified the United Center once again with his 33d playoff goal.

The flashy wing carried the puck into the Minnesota zone, hesitated as teammate Patrick Sharp skated behind him, and then split Brodziak and Brodin on his way to the net. He finished the play by roofing a backhand over goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov’s left shoulder at 8:22.

Kane then yelled ‘‘Showtime!’’ twice and pumped his right arm as the delirious crowd cheered wildly. But he was only getting started.

The 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy winner picked up his fifth goal of the playoffs on a nice pass from Ben Smith, and Bickell added an empty-netter as Chicago pulled away.

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