Rangers vs Penguins coverage - Rangers vs Penguins recap - Rangers vs Penguins boxscore - Blueshirt Banter
The Pittsburgh Penguins had beaten the New York Rangers seven straight times (including all four chances this year), but all good things must come to an end.
It would start well for the Pens in the first. Sidney Crosby would take a pass from Bill Guerin and would score from way back by the top of the circles to beat Henrik Lundqvist.
Early in the second, the Rangers would strike back when Chris Drury fired a pass out to Brandon Dubinsky to tie the game. Vaclav Prospal would give NYR the lead going into the third. Backup goalie Brent Johnson would leave the ice with about four minutes to go with an injury and Marc-Andre Fleury would come on his his stead. The Penguins wouldn't back down, as Crosby re-directed a Sergei Gonchar shot/pass on the power play to tie the game.
We'd go into over-time, and as he did so many times with the Florida Panthers, Olli Jokinen would score the game-winner against Pittsburgh with a nice shot in OT.
- Lundqvist held the Rangers in after Crosby's first goal. Sid fed Malkin for a great chance and "The King" made the stop. Then Jordan Staal blew by Wade "The $6 million dollar a year pylon" Redden" and Lundqvist was there. He lets either, or both of those in during the first 10 minutes of play and it's a whole different story.
- Kris Letang caught my eye in the best of ways. His first steps looked so explosive, his passing were crisp and right on point, his stick-handling was sharp and elusive. Letang's doing all the little things right, and making very fast moves. Hopefully soon this translates into increased production for him. He got some good shots
- Fleury did well coming in cold, making 16 saves on 17 shots and gave the team a chance. The Rangers were the better team from the second period on and had a significant time advantage on the power play but couldn't break it open.
- Rare bad night in the faceoff circle for Crosby; he only won 35% of his 20 draws; in fact no Pittsburgh player who took more than one draw ended up over 50% on the night.
- Scary moment early in the first when NYR rookie Michael Del Zotto was cut in the abdomen after getting tied up with Malkin, and Del Zotto landed on Malkin's upturned skate as the two fell. He'd leave the game and not return, hopefully he the cut isn't significant.
- Marian Gaborik, who took 21 stitches in his leg after a collision in practice the other day also seemed damaged: Gaborik didn't play after the first period.
Down two players for most of the game, the Rangers kept pressing on. They got some quality stops from their goalie and kept up the pressure and shots on Pittsburgh. The New Jersey Devils got a win tonight, so they up their lead in the division to two points on the Pens, both teams have one more game before the Olympic break. For Pittsburgh, it's about re-grouping, maybe putting out a steadier effort and hoping to go into the mini-vacation on a high note after Sunday's game against the Nashville Predators.