“You win some, you lose some.” Such seems to be the motto of the Pittsurgh Penguins following another “crushing” defeat – their second in a row – this time to the New York Rangers. Despite the evening’s 6 -1 loss, the Penguins, thanks to their remarkable run in March, still find themselves atop the Eastern Conference Standings while the Rangers, with the much needed win, continue to battle to ensure a playoff spot.
Pittsburgh earned a power play early in the first when New York’s Ryan McDonagh was sent to the box for hi-sticking. Despite some excellent changes, the Penguins couldn’t capitalize. With just over eleven minutes left to play, Chris Kunitz was sent to the box for a slash, opening up the window for New York’s first goal of the evening. Coming on the power play, the goal, originally credited to Brad Richards but then given to Brian Boyle, resulted from a blast from the point that snuck past Marc-Andre Fleury. The Rangers weren’t quite done, tallying two more in the next five minutes, courtesy of a shot by McDonagh from the slot and a backhander from newly acquired Ryane Clowe, his first of the season after being traded from San Jose. After twenty minutes of play, and being outshot 10 to 6, the Penguins were down 3-0.
Less than two minutes into the second, the Rangers tallied their fourth of the night. Yet another power play goal as the result of tripping call against Evgeni Malkin, it was credited to Derrick Brassard, whom was also acquired earlier that day. Thirty seconds later, Pascal Dupuis would finally have enough and would earn Pittsburgh’s first and only goal of the evening, picking up a rebound and stuffing it past Henrik Lundqvist for the tally. Despite some strong play from Pittsburgh in the minutes following Dupuis’ goal, the Rangers would notch yet another before the end of the period. With just under nine minutes to go, Matt Cooke was sent to the box for a trip while Tanner Glass and Arron Asham, who attempted to go toe-to-toe, were each given two minutes for unsportsmanlike behaviour and Glass an additional misconduct. On the ensuing power play, it was Clowe, again, with a wrist shot. Heading into the third, New York was up 5 to 1.
Glass and Asham started the period off with another fight, no doubt trying to build some momentum for their respective teams. Chris Kunitz came close to notching Pittsburgh’s second of the night but could not beat Lundqvist. In the end, the lone goal of the period game from New York’s John Moore, cementing the Rangers’ commanding lead. The final outcome would be 6-1, setting the scene for nothing more than grudge match Friday evening when the Rangers travel to Pittsburgh.
Evgeni Malkin led all skaters in ice time with 21:14 while Matt Niskanen followed with 20:53. James Neal registered five shots on goal while Chris Kunitz and Simon Despres each had four. Marc-Andre Fleury faced 39 shots while Lundqvist faced 27.
The Penguins will get back to it Friday night when, as mentioned, the Rangers head to Pittsburgh. Game time is 7:00pm.