NHL - Playoff wins for Rangers and Blackhawks

The New York Rangers took a 1-0 lead over Pittsburgh in their NHL playoffs second round series while the Chicago Blackhawks downed Minnesota.

NHL - Playoff wins for Rangers and Blackhawks

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New York Rangers center Derick Brassard (16) scores the game winning goal past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29)

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Rangers 3, Penguins 2 (overtime)

The New York Rangers took a 1-0 lead over Pittsburgh in their NHL playoffs second round series after Derick Brassard's goal at 3:06 of overtime gave them a 3-2 victory over the Penguins.

It was the first time the Rangers had defeated the Penguins in a Game 1 of any series.

Just 5:04 into the contest, Benoit Pouliot unleashed a hard, rising wrist shot toward the Pittsburgh net that rose over the right shoulder of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and underneath the crossbar.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead with under three minutes left in the first frame when Carl Hagelin beat Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta to a loose puck on the forecheck and then threw a pass to wide-open center Brad Richards to score.

The Penguins came out a more inspired team in the second period, scoring two goals of their own and outshooting New York 15-4.

Pittsburgh halved the Rangers lead at 7:15 of the frame when Lee Stempniak picked up a drop pass from Beau Bennett and displayed some slick stick handling down the slot before backhanding a shot past Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

The Penguins then pulled even when James Neal fired a wrist shot home at 13:28 of the second.

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Blackhawks 5, Wild 2

Right wing Patrick Kane and left wing Bryan Bickell scored two goals apiece as the Chicago Blackhawks pulled away in the third period to claim a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game One of their Western Conference semi-final series.

Chicago has now won five games in a row in this year's playoffs and is a perfect 4-0 at the United Center.

Much like last year's best-of-seven series which the Blackhawks won 4-1, Minnesota made early mistakes and Chicago was quick to capitalise on them.

The problems started when Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin received a four-minute high-sticking penalty against Chicago forward Marian Hossa at 13:09 of the first period.

Chicago needed a little more than 90 seconds to make the most of the man-advantage as Bickell slammed home his third goal of the playoffs past Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at 14:48.

With Brodin in the penalty box once more for a similar offence midway through the second period, Chicago scored again on the power-play.

Left wing Marian Hossa was the benefactor this time, bagging his second goal of the playoffs at 11:21 to put the Blackhawks 2-0 ahead.

Minnesota finally found the net at 2:19 of the third period when defenseman Clayton Stoner scored his first goal of the playoffs on a slapshot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

The Wild then tied the game at 6:56 on a perfect pass through the crease from Erik Haula to fellow center Kyle Brodziak, who tallied his team co-leading third goal of the post-season.

However, parity lasted less than two minutes when Kane regained the lead at 8:22 before adding a team-leading fifth goal of the playoffs at 16:47. Bickell's second goal of the game, an empty-netter, came at 17:19 to seal things up.

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