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Penguins vs. Rangers recap: Pens party the opposite of hard

The Pittsburgh Penguins control play early and out-shoot the Rangers on the night, but fall 3-0. See the highlights and read the analysis here.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been flying high on Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang factoring into the majority of goals scored lately, and tonight was a harsh reminder of what happens when they don't come through. That being not so good tonight.

The Goals

The Rangers first power play expires but Kevin Hayes scores in transition on a nice play to give NYR a 1-0 lead in the first period.

No scoring until the third period, when Brian Dumoulin pinches but can't get the puck, the Rangers go 2-on-1 the other way and Dominic Moore wires a shot over the blocker of Marc-Andre Fleury.

Jesper Fast scores an empty net goal to wrap it up. Yawn.

Some Thoughts

  • Weird to see the first Pens/Rangers matchup of the season all the way on Feb 10th. Including tonight they'll see each other 4 times in 47 days, all of which will probably be crucial in the playoff race in the Metro Division and maybe wildcard.
  • Shame to see Pittsburgh give up the first goal of the game, they had 5 of the first 7 shots of the game and generally controlled play before Kris Letang took an offensive zone high-sticking penalty while aggressively trying to create offense.
  • Trevor Daley didn't return for the 2nd period after going into the Pens net pretty hard late in the 1st. 5 defensemen, flashbacks gaaaah.
  • Beautiful play by Conor Sheary early in the 2nd period to skate right by Marc Staal, go back-hand but then hit the crossbar. Sheary does tend to flash in space occasionally in the offensive zone, just a shame and a little unlucky that his shot was just off.
  • The Pens tried to get some offense going in the 3rd, double shifting Sidney Crosby with the Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin line but to no avail.
  • Kessel had 6 shots on goal for the night, and a couple of good passes, but this was the type of game where Pittsburgh needed something from him...And didn't get it.

In the big picture, a loss stinks, but so it goes. The Pens played 40 minutes with 5 defensemen, carried play for most of the night and out-shot the Rangers but couldn't strike paydirt down Malkin and Bonino and Fehr. They still had chances and failed to produce and lose, which counts, it's a results oriented business. But all they can do is re-group and get their mind right for an away game Friday night in Carolina and a chance to get back into their winning ways.