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Horrendous second period dooms Rangers in Game 5 as Penguins advance

Pittsburgh won the series with a 6-3 win.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With their playoff lives on the line on Saturday, the New York Rangers laid an egg. And then stepped on it.

The Rangers were unable to extend their first round series, falling in a 6-3 rout to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5. The Penguins advance to face either the Philadelphia Flyers or Washington Capitals in the second round.

Henrik Lundqvist suffered another uncharacteristically miserable start in the Rangers' net, getting pulled following the second period after surrendering six goals on 23 shots. New York was unable to contain Penguins youngsters Bryan Rust and Phil Kessel, who accounted for three goals and five points.

For once, the Rangers started off on the better foot. Rick Nash tipped a shot from returning defenseman Dan Girardi just 1:02 into the game for an early New York lead. The period ended with a flurry of goals. Penguins winger Carl Hagelin's tying goal was answered by Rangers forward Dominic Moore, and then Sidney Crosby found Phil Kessel for his third score of the series. The score was 2-2 heading into the second period after three goals in two minutes.

And then the doors blew off for New York. While 21-year-old rookie Matt Murray stopped all eleven shots from New York in the second, Lundqvist couldn't stop anything in his own end. Bryan Rust (twice), Matt Cullen and Conor Sheary all scored for Pittsburgh in the second period to give the Penguins a commanding 6-2 lead.

Antti Raanta replaced Lundqvist in net for the third, and Chris Kreider scored to bring the score to 6-3. But it was too little, too late, and the Penguins advanced.