NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
(Monday, November 30th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, NY Rangers 2
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Michael Rupp recorded his first career hat trick to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers in the back end of a home-and-home set.
Rupp, in his seventh NHL season, had never scored more than six goals in a single year. He totaled just three in 72 games last year while playing for New Jersey, but his three in Monday's game pushed his seasonal total to eight.
"We're trying to build off the way that we're playing," Rupp said. "We like how we've been going for the past five or six games. It was good to come back -- we didn't come out great, but we didn't let that bother us, and I like the way we played."
Sidney Crosby, who was coming off a three-goal, five-point performance Saturday against the Rangers, added two more goals and an assist for the Penguins, who have won five of six overall.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29-of-31 shots in the victory.
Marian Gaborik had both goals for the Rangers, who have lost six in a row against the Penguins. Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 32 shots in the loss.
"We have to somehow just find a way to play a complete game," Gaborik said. "We are a good team for 40, 45 minutes, but that doesn't give us the hockey game. We were as good as them tonight, but we always make the extra mistake."
Gaborik put the Rangers in front 3:12 into the second period, after Vinny Prospal gained control of a bouncing puck in the left circle. Prospal then shot a pass to an unguarded Gaborik in the slot, and after Fleury stopped the first shot, Gaborik got the rebound and put in the second-chance attempt.
But Crosby evened the game just after the ensuing faceoff. Bill Guerin fed a pass from the neutral zone as Crosby streaked across the blue line on the right side, an Crosby lifted a backhander over Lundqvist at 3:23 to make it a 1-1 game.
Rupp got his first goal at 7:33 of the second, but the Rangers got the equalizer late in the period while on the power play.
A shot from above the left circle bounced like a pinball on its way to the net, eventually getting to Gaborik by the right post. Fleury was out of position at that point, and Gaborik put the puck in net for the easy score with 1:18 on the clock.
However, Rupp's second goal, a wrister from the left circle, beat Lundqvist with 8:46 to play to put the Penguins back in front.
Crosby made it a 4-2 game with 4:09 left, as he tipped a point blast out of the air from the slot, and the puck got past Lundqvist by the right post.
Rupp's empty-net score with 1:40 on the clock completed his hat trick.
Fleury stopped 11 shots in the third period...Pittsburgh went 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Rangers were 1-for-3...The Penguins begin a three-game homestand Thursday against Colorado...New York play at Buffalo on Saturday.
11/30 23:42:04 ET