Rangers even series with Pens

Pittsburgh Penguins' Phil Kessel (81) puts the puck past a sprawling New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) for a goal during the second period in Game 2 in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Keith Yandle and Derick Brassard scored 18 seconds apart in the second period and Henrik Lundqvist looked just fine dealing with an eye injury and the New York Rangers stopped the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 on Saturday to even their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at one game.

Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider also scored for the Rangers. J.T. Miller added three assists and New York handed Pittsburgh just its third loss in its past 18 games.

Lundqvist finished with 29 saves and showed no ill effects after getting accidentally slashed in the right eye by a teammate in Game 1, forcing him to leave after the first period.

Game 3 is Tuesday in New York.

Phil Kessel scored his first two playoff goals in three years, but the Penguins’ defense broke down in front of backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, who made 24 saves.

Lundqvist returned to the net three days removed from a frightening sequence late in the first period of Game 1 when teammate Marc Staal’s stick somehow found its way through the bars on Lundqvist’s mask and scratched the goaltender’s eye.

Lundqvist called the ensuing 20-30 seconds frightening as he writhed in pain and he was held out of the final two periods as a precaution in an eventual 5-2 loss.

A specialist cleared him on Thursday, he practiced on Friday. And on Saturday, he was the first Ranger onto the ice just as he’d been in New York’s previous 111 playoff games.

The Penguins stuck with Zatkoff, a revelation in the series opener while filling in for Marc-Andre Fleury, who is still recovering from a concussion sustained on March 31.

The concerned murmur that greeted Zatkoff’s appearance when he came out of the tunnel for warmup on Wednesday was replaced with a roar on Saturday, though one that barely registered next to the eruption that awaited Malkin.

The star was supposed to be out 6 to 8 weeks after injuring his left arm against Columbus on March 11. He made it back a good week earlier than even the most optimistic projections, returning another dynamic piece to the league’s hottest team.