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Aftermath: Penguins 3, Rangers 1

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Penguins defense stole the show in Monday’s 3-1 win over the New York Rangers, which extends the team’s unbeaten stretch to 9-0-1 in their past 10 and gives them a seven-game winning streak.

Pittsburgh’s top four of Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin all turned in solid performances, especially Michalek. He saw 4:02 of ice time while shorthanded and did whatever was necessary to keep the puck out of danger, including dropping to all fours to deny a Marc Staal wraparound chance and blocking a Michael Del Zotto shot with just 1:20 remaining in regulation.

Letang continued his offensive production, notching Pittsburgh’s second goal for his fourth point (1G-3A) in two games. He is now tied for second in scoring among NHL defensemen with 23 points.

Marc-Andre Fleury continued his stellar play between the pipes, making 25 saves to improve his record in his past nine games to 8-0-1. The Penguins always emphasize that their goaltender has to be their best penalty killer and the Flower was more than up to the challenge, standing tall through two crucial Rangers power-play opportunities in the third to keep the lead.
Pascal Dupuis
Dupuis factored into Pittsburgh’s first two goals to earn a pair of helpers on Monday.

The speedy forward, usually a fixture on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, was out with Matt Cooke and Max Talbot when he capitalized on a turnover and battled through a scrum of Rangers players to get the puck into New York’s zone. That opened the door for Talbot to corral the loose puck and whip it past Henrik Lundqvist.

On Pittsburgh's second goal, Dupuis used his wheels to collect a Kris Letang pass that he dropped to Crosby, who found a streaking Letang for the score.

He also saw significant time on the penalty kill, helping turn away a pair of Rangers power-play opportunities in the third.

This strong outing came after Dupuis scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Buffalo on Nov. 24. He now has 10 points (5G-5A) over his last 16 games, including two game-winning goals.
It took just one minute and 16 seconds to change the momentum of the game. That’s all the time the Penguins needed to bury two quick goals that built them a 3-0 lead and put them in the driver’s seat. At the 12:01 mark of the second period, Sidney Crosby sent a no-look, behind-the-back pass on his backhand to a wide-open Kris Letang, who one-timed it past Henrik Lundqvist to put the Penguins up 2-0. Chris Conner then notched his fourth goal of the season after some great work by Pittsburgh’s third line to get the puck in deep, and the Penguins never looked back. (AP) - Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 13 games and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their seventh straight by beating the New York Rangers 3-1 on Monday night.

The Penguins, 9-0-1 in their past 10, haven't lost since falling to the Rangers at home in a shootout on Nov. 15. Their previous loss in regulation was Nov. 11 against Boston. It is the Penguins' longest winning streak since another seven-game run from Oct. 8-23, 2009.
• The Penguins killed off all three Rangers power plays, including two in the third period, on Monday. This marks the ninth-consecutive game Pittsburgh has not surrendered a power-play goal, which ties their previous-longest streak of nine from March 29-April 16, 1998 (38 straight kills).

• Overall, Pittsburgh has not given up an opposition power-play goal in 13 of the past 15 games, killing off 57-of-59 penalties (96.6 percent), including a current streak of 32 straight kills.

• With his assist on Letang's goal, Crosby has extended his scoring streak to 13 games. He now has 26 points (12G-14A) during the stretch and has finished with multiple-point efforts in 10 of his past 15 games. The Penguins captain leads the NHL scoring race with 41 points (18G-23A).

• Max Talbot had an outstanding game for the Penguins. He played with energy and forechecked hard, and it paid off in the first period when he capitalized on a loose puck in the slot to score his fourth goal in eight games. He fired three shots and threw three hits in 16:36 of ice time, even adding a nifty behind-the-back pass at one point to Dupuis, whose blast was stopped by Lundqvist.
#1. Pascal Dupuis
  Forward - 9
2 assists
Plus-2 rating
17:54 TOI
#2. Marc-Andre Fleury
  Goaltender - 29
25 saves on 26 shots
Is 8-0-1 in his past 9 games
#3. Sidney Crosby
  Forward - 87
1 assist
Extended point streak to 13 games

Author: Michelle Crechiolo

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