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Aftermath: Rangers 4, Penguins 1

by Tony Jovenitti / Pittsburgh Penguins
4 - 1

FINAL 1 2 3 T
0 0 4 4
PENGUINS 1 0 0 1
For the first time this season, the Penguins dropped the second contest of back-to-back games. Henrik Lundqvist stymied the Penguins’ 28-shot assault, and the Rangers beat the Penguins 4-1 Wednesday night at CONSOL Energy Center.

After Evgeni Malkin put the Penguins up 1-0 with a beautiful goal in the final seconds of the first period, the Rangers kept Pittsburgh off the board for the rest of the game and scored four goals in the third period.

The Rangers outburst was kick-started by former Penguin Erik Christensen’s power-play tally at 10:10 of the third period. Alex Frolov scored 15 seconds later to put the Rangers on top.

The Penguins thought they tied the game back up with 6:19 remaining in the game after Malkin’s slapshot was deflected into the net, but much to the home crowd’s dismay, it was waived off for goaltender interference.

Alex Frolov and Artem Anisimov took advantage of the call by notching two more insurance goals to round out the scoring.

Tonight marked the first time the Rangers won in regulation in Pittsburgh since Jan. 19, 2006.
Evgeni Malkin
Evgeni Malkin is having no trouble getting back onto the score sheet after taking four games off to recover from a lower-body injury. One day after tallying two power-play goals against the Flyers on Tuesday, Malkin returned to CONSOL Energy Center and gave the Penguins momentum at the end of the first period.

Near the end of an otherwise uneventful opening frame, the Penguins strung together a couple of excellent shifts where they peppered Henrik Lundqvist with nine shots in the final four minutes of the first. The offensive zone dominance brought fans to their feet and energized the Penguins bench.

Malkin finished off Pittsburgh’s first period resurgence with a beauty of a goal to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. He took a pass from Brooks Orpik and flew up the left side of the ice. He dished the puck to Sidney Crosby, who was skating down the slot. That drew the defenders away from Malkin, and Crosby bounced it right back to him.

Malkin made a nice stick-handling move to deke Lundqvist out of position and punch the puck in the net.
With the Penguins clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Rangers connected for a power play goal to give the Broadway Blueshirts their first sign of life in the game.

Christensen took a pass from Marian Gaborik and skated down the left side. He whipped a shot past Johnson’s short side to put the Rangers on the board.

The goal gave the Rangers some much-needed momentum, and Alex Frolov scored again just 15 seconds later. The Rangers were off and running at that point.

After the Penguins’ tying goal was waved off for goaltender interference, the Rangers scored two more goals to earn their first regulation win in Pittsburgh in 17 tries.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Erik Christensen and Alex Frolov scored 15 seconds apart to spark a four-goal third period, and the New York Rangers rallied for a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to a career-high 20 games when he assisted on Evgeni Malkin's first-period goal for Pittsburgh, but the Penguins lost for the second straight night after winning 12 in a row.

Christensen tied it with 9:50 to play, while New York was on the power play, and Frolov gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead by burying his own rebound at 10:25.

Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle scored 34 seconds apart less than five minutes later to ice the Rangers' first win in regulation in Pittsburgh in nearly five years.
• Crosby scored a point for the 20th consecutive game, a personal best for the Penguins captain. He put up an impressive 39 points (20G-19A) during the streak. Only Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos has more points over the entire season (44) than Crosby has over his streak.

• In the first period, Zbynek Michalek threw four shots toward the net in a one-minute span. He finished with five shots, a season-high for the Penguins blueliner. He beat his previous best of four shots, which he did twice this season (Nov. 17 vs. Vancouver and Nov. 22 vs. Florida). He also blocked three Rangers shots.

• Mark Letestu won 80 percent of his faceoffs on the night. The third-line center won 12 of his 15 draws, and the third line was buzzing once again. The combination of Letestu, Chris Conner and Tyler Kennedy sent four pucks Lundqvist’s way.

• Pittsburgh’s home winning streak ended at seven games, falling one game short of the 2010-11 season record that the Los Angeles Kings set earlier this year.

• The Penguins lost at home to the Rangers in regulation for the first time since Jan. 19, 2006. The loss snapped a 12-0-4 unbeaten streak in the past 17 home games against the Rangers.

• The loss also marked the first time the Penguins dropped the tail end of back-to-back games this season, dropping their record in to 5-1 in those situation, but the Penguins remain 8-4 overall in back-to-back games.
#1. Alex Frolov
  Forward - 31
1 goal
1 assist
plus-2 rating
#2. Brian Boyle
  Forward - 22
1 goal
1 assist
6 shots
#3. Henrik Lundqvist
  Goaltender - 30
7th win in past 10 games
27 saves on 28 shots

Author: Tony Jovenitti

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