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After non-goal, Penguins top Rangers in shootout

by Wes Crosby

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins won after they thought they lost Saturday.

New York Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle appeared to have scored the deciding goal in the shootout against the Penguins, but the teams were called back onto the ice after it was ruled that Boyle hit the puck twice to get it past Marc-Andre Fleury.

Brandon Sutter scored on the ensuing attempt and Rick Nash was denied on his chance to give the Penguins a 3-2 win at Consol Energy Center.

Fleury earned his 10th win of the season and Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston gave his goalie credit for being prepared to make the stop on Nash. Fleury said he was surprised to be informed the officials were reviewing Boyle's goal.

"I had no clue," Fleury said. "I was mad. I had my jersey off, helmet off. I thought there was a fight or something … but then I saw it was no goal, so I was really happy."

Johnston said most of the players didn't see the review on their locker room television as they entered the room. He said the coaches noticed a review was taking place, thinking the puck might have been kicked in.

"I can't believe it," forward Evgeni Malkin said. "The whole team was in the locker room already and we were mad that we lost, but it's a double-tip. It's the rule, and we go back and win it. It's history now."

The Rangers were equally shocked.

"That's a high to a low in a hurry," Boyle said. "I think we left a point out there, and that's the way I look at it."

New York defenseman Dan Girardi said several Rangers were getting undressed when they were told they needed to return to the ice. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said half of the players' sticks were packed.

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist said he had taken off his helmet, but kept his pads on and felt it was his responsibility to be prepared to return to the crease.

"It's tough to regroup. We came in here and I asked [Boyle] and when he explained it to me, I had a bad feeling we would have to go back out there," Lundqvist said. "You want it to be right. If we were in that situation and found out it was the wrong call, you'd be very upset. … You have to be right."

Lundqvist denied Sidney Crosby on a breakaway 17 seconds into overtime with Crosby attempting to go five-hole. The Rangers had a 4-on-3 power play for the final 1:42 after Rob Scuderi tripped Chris Kreider while he was charging toward the net.

The Penguins had the best chance during New York's man-advantage, but Lundqvist made a second save on a breakaway, this time robbing Kris Letang with a glove stop with 4.8 seconds left.

The Rangers had an opportunity to break a 2-2 tie about 7:20 into the third period with Kreider darting toward the crease, but Fleury poke-checked the puck off his stick and Dominic Moore could not corral the rebound to shoot it into an empty net.

Pittsburgh had several chances with Rangers defenseman John Moore in the penalty box for tripping; Lundqvist was forced to make a few impressive saves to maintain the tie. Fleury, without a stick, was also tested shorthanded and stopped a wrist shot from Derek Stepan 8:02 into the third period.

Girardi returned during overtime after leaving the game following a hit from Malkin that sent him into the boards with 6:13 left in the third.

After surrendering the opening goal, the Rangers quickly erased their deficit and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

On his first shift playing alongside Malkin and Patric Hornqvist, Blake Comeau scored with 5:48 remaining in the first period after beginning the game on Pittsburgh's fourth line. Hornqvist entered the zone through the middle and slipped a pass to Comeau to his left.

Comeau sent a shot through Girardi, who had gone to one knee in an effort to block it, and between Lundqvist and the left post. Comeau did not play in the Penguins' 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday because of an illness.

Pittsburgh's 1-0 lead lasted 15 seconds. Former Penguins forward Lee Stempniak evened the game after battling for a rebound off of a shot from Girardi with Crosby in the crease. Stempniak earned possession of the puck and backhanded a shot behind Fleury with 5:33 left in the first.

New York rode its momentum to a second goal less than two minutes later while on a power play. With Steve Downie in the penalty box for slashing, a shot from Nash slipped out of Fleury's glove and ricocheted to Derick Brassard. He slid the puck to Martin St. Louis to the right of the net and St. Louis snapped a shot past Fleury to put the Rangers ahead with 3:36 remaining in the period.

"[The game] was entertaining to say the least," Vigneault said. "Both teams competed really hard. Both teams had some good looks. Goaltending was phenomenal on both sides. For a moment, we thought we won it in a shootout and they finally did. That's hockey."

The Penguins controlled the last 12 minutes of the second period, beginning with Malkin's second 5-on-5 goal of the season, which tied the game 2-2.

Nick Spaling sent a pass back to Malkin at the top of the right circle. Malkin drifted in, dropped to one knee and snapped a shot off of the right post. The puck bounced back, hit Lundqvist's outstretched arm and went into the net at 8:09 of the second.

The Penguins' win came four days after losing 5-0 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"That was definitely our worst game so far," Johnston said. "It's important when you have a tough night that you can rebound. We knew we had them again this week."

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