NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
(Thursday, December 7th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 3, Pittsburgh 2 (SO)
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Brendan Shanahan scored the lone shootout tally and Henrik Lundqvist made three brilliant saves in the final phase, as the New York Rangers halted a four-game slide, beating Pittsburgh 3-2 at Madison Square Garden.
Lundqvist stopped Evgeni Malkin's attempt before Shanahan went one-on-one with Marc-Andre Fleury, sending a high wrist shot over the netminder's glove and just underneath the crossbar. Lundqvist closed the five-hole on Nils Ekman and made a pad save on Sidney Crosby to ice the victory for the Rangers, who won for the first time since beating the Penguins on November 25 at Mellon Arena.
"I had it in mind," said Ekman, when asked if he would try the same move on Lundqvist that resulted in an earlier goal. "I was looking at what he was going to give me. I thought he was going to try and shut down what I had done earlier. I was going to try to go five hole or blocker, it just wasn't good enough."
Blair Betts had a goal in regulation and Shanahan also netted the game-tying score in the third period. Martin Straka added an assist to extend his point streak to eight games (6G, 8A), and Lundqvist made 28 saves overall.
"We kept the emotion out of the game," said Shanahan. "It was important for us to come back. It was important for us to get a win at home for Michael Nylander, who wanted to stay. He was torn. But he wanted to be with his wife." (Nylander left the game in the first period after finding out his wife was in labor at a local hospital)
Ekman and Crosby tallied for the Pens, who have dropped four in a row and seven of their last eight games. Fleury stopped 20-of-22 shots in the losing effort.
The opening period was a netminding clinic between the goaltenders, with Ekman getting the lone tally on a penalty shot.
Off a turnover by the Rangers Adam Ward, Ekman skated in on a breakaway but couldn't put the puck on net before he was tripped from behind. Awarded a penalty shot, he gave his team a 1-0 lead with 1:22 remaining in the first period. The left winger started wide to the right, then picked up speed and rushed the goal, beating Lundqvist with a backhand shot.
The penalty shot goal was the first allowed by the Rangers this season, and the first allowed by Lundqvist since he joined the NHL last season.
Crosby used jaw-dropping moves on his goal to put the Pens up 2-0 in the middle stanza. After taking a pass from Mark Recchi, and, already outnumbered in a 1-on-3, the rookie went around Jason Ward and then split between two defenders before firing a high wrist shot past Lundqvist. Michal Rozsival also tried to get back late, but Crosby blew past him and also eluded a diving attempt at a pokecheck by Ward to score at the 11:33 mark.
The Blueshirts cut the Penguins lead in half with a short-handed goal at 8:43 in the third. Camped in front of the crease, Betts deflected a slapshot from above the left faceoff circle, sending the puck underneath Lundqvist's arm. The goal was reviewed, causing a slight delay as several replays were needed to determine that Betts' stick was below the crossbar when he redirected the shot.
The Rangers tied the game just 1:30 later on Shanahan's power play tally. Shanahan came up off the wing, took a drop pass from Jaromir Jagr and ripped a slapshot that breezed over Fleury's glove.
New York did not have a shot on goal in the overtime period, while the Penguins had just two.
Shanahan is tied with Atlanta's Marian Hossa for the league-lead with 21 goals...Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis returned to the lineup for the first time since October 30...Pens defenseman Rob Scuderi missed the game with the flu...Nylander's wife gave birth to their daughter before the game was over...Jagr had an assist in the contest, giving him 13 goals and 14 assists in 24 games against Pittsburgh since he was traded from the Penguins on July 11, 2001...The Pens head to Atlanta on Saturday, while the Rangers travel to Ottawa.
12/07 23:44:05 ET