NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
(Monday, January 25th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, NY Rangers 2
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Recalled from the minors earlier Monday, Chris Conner registered the first two-goal game of his NHL career to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the New York Rangers, 4-2, at Madison Square Garden.
"I tried to work hard. I got some good bounces and played with some great players," Conner said.
Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis both had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which has won five of its last seven games. Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang each collected two helpers in the win.
Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, who sat out the previous four games with a broken finger, stopped 28 shots.
The Penguins have 67 points and are two behind idle New Jersey for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Pittsburgh also continued its recent success against the Blueshirts. The defending Stanley Cup champs have taken all four meetings this season and the past seven overall, outscoring New York 33-14.
Artem Anisimov scored twice for the Rangers, who were coming off consecutive shutout defeats on the road against Philadelphia and Montreal. Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves on 27 shots in the loss.
"This (loss) was painful," Lundqvist said. "We battled back and it was a pretty good game. In the second period we played pretty well and we came out in the third and kept it going. I don't know what to say. That was bad timing, when we got that penalty, they get a lucky goal on a deflection off our player. We have had a bunch of these games this year. It could be a different story if we manage to win these games. We have a tough time winning games like this but we definitely played a lot better than the last two games. That is a good thing."
The Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 lead 2:47 after the game's opening faceoff. Crosby carried the puck over the Rangers line and dished to Conner trailing the play. Called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, Conner fired a wrister that beat Lundqvist on the short side and inside the far post for his first goal of the season and first in Pittsburgh colors.
New York drew even when Fleury was beaten on the glove side from a shot by Anisimov with 6:56 left in the second period.
The first goal and point in 18 games for the rookie center not only snapped a personal drought, but also ended a scoring slump for the Rangers, who hadn't tallied since Christopher Higgins scored with 3:28 left in the third period of last Tuesday's 8-2 victory over Tampa Bay.
New York had a golden opportunity to take the lead 20 seconds into the third period as Penguins center Jordan Staal was assessed a double-minor for high- sticking. The Rangers couldn't convert, but moved ahead at 9:15.
Anisimov put a shot on goal at the feet of Fleury. The puck squirted through and sat on the goal line before Fleury inadvertently nudged the disc across.
Pittsburgh was quickly given a chance to answer with New York sniper Marian Gaborik committing a slashing penalty.
Malkin tied the game on the power play 31 seconds after Anisimov had given New York the lead, one-timing a Gonchar feed over the left shoulder of Lundqvist.
Conner scored one minute later for a 3-2 Penguins lead, pumping in the rebound of a Crosby shot.
Dupuis picked up an empty-netter with 40 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Right winger Bill Guerin and defenseman Alex Goligoski both were held out of the Pittsburgh lineup because of unspecified injuries...Penguins center Maxime Talbot missed a third straight game with a lower-body ailment...In four games against the Rangers this season, Crosby has six goals and five assists...New York has not been shut out in three consecutive games since October 20-24, 1999...Anisimov last scored on December 19 at Philadelphia...Rangers right winger Ryan Callahan appeared in his 200th NHL game...New York hosts Carolina on Wednesday...The Penguins begin a three-game homestand Thursday against Ottawa.
01/25 23:14:18 ET