Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider return to star form to lift Rangers to Game 7

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby did not play, the Penguins had their third-string goaltender back in net, Rickard Rakell and Brian Dumoulin remained sidelined and then Brian Boyle left the game for good early in the first period.

But do you know what? There will be no asterisk attached to this 5-3 Game 6 victory the Rangers achieved after overcoming a 2-0 first-period deficit. There will be no asterisk attached to Game 7 of this first-round series, which will be contested at the Garden on Sunday.

The Blueshirts earned this one just as they earned the Game 5 victory at home on Wednesday, also after climbing out of a 2-0 hole following Crosby’s exit from the match midway through the second period in the wake of Jacob Trouba’s endlessly dissected hit.