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Penguins waste late lead, but top Rangers in SO
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Sutter netted the lone goal in the shootout, as Pittsburgh wasted a two-goal, third-period lead but rebounded to top the Rangers, 4-3, at Madison Square Garden.
Neither team was able to produce a marker with the first eight shots. Benoit Pouliot began the fifth and final round by shooting his attempt over the net, and Sutter ended the contest with a shot between the pads of Henrik Lundqvist.
"Part of me was just waiting to get a chance, I felt good with the puck and wanted a shot," said Sutter. "It's always fun to get out there. That's only the third one I've ever had. I missed the first two so it feels good to get that one."
Sutter also scored in regulation, as did Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis for the Penguins, who revealed prior to the game that Evgeni Malkin will miss two contests after sliding feet-first into the boards on Saturday against Detroit.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 stops and then held New York off the board in the deciding breakaway contest as the Metropolitan Division leaders tied a season high with their fifth straight win.
Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard tallied for the Rangers, who fell to 1-3-2 on their nine-game residency.
Lundqvist stopped 29 shots in the tough-luck defeat.
The Penguins snapped a scoreless deadlock with 7:16 left in the second period. During a power play, Jokinen fed Kunitz at the right side of the crease, and his third whack at a loose puck slid under Lundqvist and over the goal line.
Hagelin equalized for New York, when he pulled away from a Pens defender up the middle and beat Fleury on the backhand just under two minutes later.
Pittsburgh went up 2-1 at the 5:25 mark of the third period, when Kunitz whipped a cross-ice pass to Sidney Crosby, who fed back to the right side for a tap-in by Dupuis.
Sutter provided an insurance tally 61 seconds later during a 4-on-4, sweeping past Michael Del Zotto and scoring with a high backhander.
Zuccarello brought the hosts within a goal, when he rushed the crease and tapped home a John Moore shot which squeezed through Fleury's pads.
Matt Niskanen was sent off for high sticking with 2:43 to go, and the Rangers tied it less than a minute later when Brassard picked up a Pouliot rebound off the end boards and lifted it under the crossbar.
The Pens barely survived an early overtime interference call on Kunitz, who collided with Lundqvist just outside his crease.
"I don't think (Kunitz) meant to hit me," said the veteran Swedish backstop. "At first after the hit it was hard to focus, then my neck began to get sore but after a minute or so I knew I could keep playing."
Pittsburgh improved to 4-3 against the Rangers since the implementation of shootouts in 2005 ... The Pens, who have taken 10 of their last 11 games despite a raft of injuries, also won five straight from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5 ... Lundqvist made his 538th start for New York, tying him for third on the franchise list with Ed Giacomin ... Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland served the first of his five-game suspension for elbowing Detroit's Justin Abdelkader.
12/19 00:45:36 ET