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(Wednesday, November 6th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Pittsburgh 1
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Henrik Lundqvist made 28 stops and five different players lit the lamp as the New York Rangers shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-1, at Madison Square Garden in the first of four meetings between these division rivals.
Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan and Derick Brassard created offense for the Rangers, who have won four of their last five thanks to tying a season high for goals in one contest.
"If we play hard and stick with our game plan, we can play with everybody," Callahan noted.
Brad Richards added a pair of assists as the Blueshirts topped their Wednesday foes for the second time in their last three matchups.
Kris Letang registered the lone goal for the Penguins, who were turned away from their chance at a fifth straight win. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all five scores on 25 shots.
Boyle's chance in the high slot off a Richards dish hit the back of the net with 6:50 left in the second period and the hosts took a 3-0 advantage.
Pittsburgh finally solved Lundqvist 1:24 later. The Rangers' netminder couldn't glove a Chris Kunitz try from atop the crease and Letang poked home the rebound.
But the hosts got the score back with 4:22 to go in the second, as a Carl Hagelin offering from the right boards deflected off the sticks of Richards and Callahan before finally eluding Fleury.
It was 5-1 for the Rangers as Brassard tapped in a Derek Dorsett rebound just prior to the midway point of the third.
Lundqvist kept that margin intact by turning away four quality chances on a late-game Penguins power play.
"We gave them too many opportunities. We didn't play at all at our game and then we got disjointed in our effort, we got disjointed in our game in the second," said Pens head coach Dan Bylsma. "That wasn't anything close to where we need to play or want to play. It's the story of the game."
New York escaped disaster with just over 6 1/2 minutes left in the opening period. Pens defenseman Matt Niskanen unleashed a shot from the left point, and the puck squeezed through Lundqvist's pads and trickled towards the goal line at the left post. Callahan swooped in and swept the disc to safety.
The Rangers did take a lead to the locker room, as McDonagh popped a shot past Fleury from the left circle with 1:52 on the clock and Stepan pumped one home from the right wing just 65 seconds later.
Eleven different Rangers recorded at least one point ... New York set its season high for goals during a 5-1 home win over Carolina this past Saturday ... The Blueshirts have held opponents to two or fewer goals in each of the last eight games, their longest run since doing so in eight straight from Dec. 31, 2009 to Jan. 14, 2010 ... Pittsburgh fell to 12-12-4 in Manhattan since 2005, and despite the loss, has won 9 of its last 13 dates in New York since November of 2009 ... Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was held without a point for only the third time this season, having also been blanked by the Avalanche and Maple Leafs.
11/06 23:19:49 ET
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