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game recap

Penguins eliminate Rangers with dominant Game 5

Use big second period to reach second round; Capitals or Flyers next

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins kept history from repeating itself.

A second-period surge gave the Penguins a 6-3, Game 5 win against the New York Rangers that ended their Eastern Conference First Round series at Consol Energy Center on Saturday.

After losing to New York in each of the past two Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Penguins won three straight games to eliminate the Rangers 4-1.

"We certainly didn't want to have to go back to New York for Game 6," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think when you have teams at that elimination point, you want to do your best to take care of business right then and there. We did speak about that with our group."

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm5: Hagelin puts it past Lundqvist

New York's loss kept them from becoming the first NHL team to win a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-1 in three consecutive postseasons. The Rangers trailed the Penguins 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Second Round two years ago and the Washington Capitals last year before winning those series.

"You have to give credit where credit is due," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "Pittsburgh, coming into this, they were playing really well. They're on top of their game right now. … They're a really good team."

Pittsburgh will play either the Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Second Round. Washington leads that best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 on Sunday.

Forward Bryan Rust gave the Penguins their first lead, 3-2, 5:21 into the second period. Defenseman Trevor Daley sent a slap pass to Rust to the right of the New York net, allowing him to shoot past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm5: Rust buries puck past Lundqvist

Matt Cullen extended the lead to 4-2 with his second goal of the series after Rust fought Derick Brassard off the puck as they glided through the New York zone. Cullen trailed, gathered the puck and shot by Lundqvist's glove 9:26 into the second.

Rookie forward Conor Sheary and Rust scored the Penguins' third and fourth goals of the period to push their lead to 6-2.

Rust had three points after taking a maintenance day during Pittsburgh's practice Friday.

Rangers goalie Antti Raanta replaced Lundqvist to start the third period. Lundqvist allowed a combined 10 goals on 41 shots in the past two games and was pulled in each. He allowed at least four goals in six of his past 16 appearances.

"The way the game was played, especially the past two games, there were a lot of big opportunities right in front," Lundqvist said. "You need strong goaltending. You need a goalie that's going to make a lot of big extra saves and I was not able to come up with that. … You need to be extremely confident as a goalie to stop those types of shots, and these last two games, I wasn't strong enough to do that."

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm5: Rust scores his second of the game

New York forward Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal 5:38 into the third period to make it 6-3.

Penguins rookie Matt Murray made 38 saves to win his third consecutive start in the playoffs. Murray has won 10 straight since losing 3-2 to the Capitals on March 1.

The Rangers and Penguins each scored twice in the first period.

New York forward Rick Nash made it 1-0 when he deflected Dan Girardi's slap shot past Murray 1:02 into the game. Murray got a piece of the shot but let it slip under his right arm for Nash's second goal of the series.

Penguins forward Carl Hagelin tied the game 1-1 when he drove to the crease to receive a pass from Phil Kessel and shot past Lundqvist's left pad with 10:10 remaining.

Video: NYR@PIT, Gm5: Kessel rifles PPG past Lundqvist

Dominic Moore gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead 45 seconds later. After Viktor Stalberg shot off the right post, the puck bounced through the Pittsburgh crease and past defenseman Kris Letang. Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist kicked the puck back toward Murray and it hit off Moore's leg before entering the net with 9:25 left.

Pittsburgh answered after New York rookie defenseman Brady Skjei was called for boarding seven seconds after the faceoff. Sidney Crosby sent Kessel into the Rangers zone, where he took a snap shot from the right circle over Lundqvist's blocker for his third goal of the series and a 2-2 tie with 8:21 remaining.

"[Kessel] can change a game with one shot," Crosby said. "He's the type of guy that doesn't need a lot of time to get a shot off … he's really dangerous. We talk about the playoffs and it's a matter of inches sometimes. When he's able to get space and capitalize on chances he gets the way he does, he can change a game."

Video: Penguins win Game 5, advance to Round 2

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