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Pens/Rangers recap: 5 goal 2nd period boosts Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Penguins open up a can in the 2nd period with 5 goals and carry the day over the New York Rangers.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

1st period

Stop me if you've heard this before; Evgeni Malkin takes a pretty needless, reckless penalty and it comes back to haunt the Penguins. Rick Nash scores on the ensuing power play to make it 1-0 for the Rangers.

Pittsburgh leads shots 10-7 on the period, but behind where it counts 1-0. Not too much else exciting except for Ryan McDonaugh hitting Conor Sheary from behind then having to feel the wrath of Sidney Crosby.

2nd period

Scott Wilson scores his 3rd goal of the season (and first in 12 games) by collecting a hard pass from Phil Kessel and scoring on Henrik Lundqvist. Tie game at 1.

Crosby strikes to give the Pens the lead with a Crosby play, deflecting an Ian Cole point shot into the net.

Phil Kessel gets behind the defense and goes high cheese on Lundqvist to make it 3-1 for his 5th goal of the season.

Crosby scores his second of the night (and ends Lundqvist's) when he makes it 4-1 with a centering pass that goes off McD and past Lundqvist.

Antti Raanta doesn't offer any relief when Conor Sheary scores to make it 5-1 after 1:36 of offensive zone domination by the Pens who are just having their way with NYR at this point.

Shots were 13-4 in that period, just tilting the ice and burying the puck.

3rd period

Matt Cullen gets on the board 13 minutes into the period and before NYR even has a SOG in the period. 6-1 good guys

That's it for the scoring, shots 31-17 on the game.

Some Thoughts

  • This game was like last game, only teams flipping performances. Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail.
  • Great to see Nick Bonino spring Kessel on the 3rd goal of the game. Need more of that from Bonino at this point of the season after his slow start.
  • And good on Wilson to get back on the scoresheet as well after a lengthy absence.
  • 14 goals in 14 games on the season for Crosby. Technically a "50 in 50" counts as team games, and tonight was game 20 for the Pens but for personally for him what a heater.
  • Olli Maatta bumped up to the 1st pair defense (and 2nd most ES TOI among D tonight, behind of course Kris Letang) and fared pretty well. So too did the newly reunited 2nd pair of Dumoulin and Daley. We'll need more time to see if it's just the result of "all things going well tonight" type of game or if this new d-alignment offers a little more stability and better play for the team.
  • A quiet second night of the NHL career for Jake Guentzel. Only 13 minutes played (including just 3 in the first period) and no shots on goal. Obviously he wasn't going to score 2 goals every night, now we see how much staying power he'll have to play on a scoring line. If guys like Wilson+Sheary stay hot, when the vets (Kunitz+Hornqvist) come back, Guentzel's spot isn't secure. Just one game, so we'll wait and see, but for as great as his first game was, it doesn't necessarily mean he's in Pittsburgh for an extended amount of time on one night's work alone.
  • After all young season's worth of allowing too many shots against, NYR only got 7 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes. Some of that is them laying down and dying, but a lot of that was puck and zone domination by the Penguins (as illustrated best by Sheary's goal following 90+ seconds of pressure by the Pens top line)

Pens lose and look bad on Monday, come back strong and embarrass the very same team on Wednesday. Hockey's a weird and fun game like that, sometimes. Happy Thanksgiving.