The frustrated Rangers, who entered today’s game on a season-high six-game losing skid (0-5-1), surrendered an early 2-0 lead to a depleted Penguins squad just over five minutes into the first period.
But the Blueshirts turned it on with a vengeance following Pittsburgh’s second goal, scoring five-consecutive times to win the game by a score of 5-3. The Rangers played the type of hockey that Dan Bylsma wants to see from his troops night in, night out – gaining offensive zone time, establishing a forecheck and going to the net hard. Their goals came by creating a smorgasbord of traffic in front of Marc-Andre Fleury and getting sticks on as many pucks as they could.
Despite the loss, Fleury put up a strong performance between the pipes. He made several highlight-reel saves, with the Rangers’ goals coming on on re-directs and through traffic – plays that are almost impossible for any goalie to save. The Rangers finished the afternoon 3-for-6 on the man advantage.
Deryk Engelland is the consummate teammate. He’s a gritty, hard-hitting player that always sticks up for his fellow Penguins on the ice while quietly and humbly working his hardest night in, night out.
On Sunday, the Penguins defenseman was rewarded for those efforts when he opened the scoring just over two minutes into the first period. After Chris Conner’s attempt to tuck the puck past a prone Henrik Lundqvist just missed the net, Engelland gobbled up the Rangers’ clearing attempt and blasted it home.
The goal was his first since Dec. 4 against Columbus and his third of the season. He went on to finish the night with three blocked shots, two hits and a plus-one rating through 13:28 of ice time.
Brett Sterling netted a power-play score on a textbook play early in the third to cut New York’s lead to two, and just minutes later, Michael Sauer got a double-minor for hi-sticking with 10:31 left in the final frame. It was a golden opportunity for Pittsburgh to build a comeback, as the four-minute penalty would stay on the board even if the Penguins scored.
But despite peppering Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with shots, the Penguins couldn’t find the back of the net while on the man-advantage. New York held on to their lead the rest of the game and finished with a 5-3 win.
NEW YORK (AP) - Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist for the New York Rangers, who broke out of their offensive doldrums and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the battered Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
After falling behind 2-0 only 5:06 in, the Rangers tied it before the first intermission. They busted out in the second period - while recording 16 shots - on goals by Vinny Prospal, Callahan, and Artem Anisimov to build a three-goal lead. That was enough to end New York's 0-5-1 skid that put the team's playoff hopes in jeopardy.
- The Rangers and the Penguins are the two hardest-hitting teams in the league. Entering Sunday's game, the Rangers led the National Hockey League with 1,615 total hits, while Pittsburgh ranked No. 2 with 1,593.
- The Penguins had two four-minute power plays in the game. Their first came just over halfway into the first period, when Brandon Dubinsky got two for hi-sticking and two for roughing. Their second came with 10:31 remaining in the third, when Michael Sauer got four minutes for knocking Tyler Kennedy’s helmet off with his stick. Despite sending a flurry of shots Henrik Lundqvist’s way, Pittsburgh did not capitalize on either opportunity.
- The Rangers also got four minutes on the man advantage when Brett Sterling went off for hi-sticking at the 9:40 mark of the second. Ryan Callahan scored for the Blueshirts during that power play.
- Sterling scored his second goal and third point in three games with Pittsburgh when he scored a power-play tally with 14:48 left in the final frame. He had received a pass in the slot, turned and fired it past Lunqvist, who had been screened by Jordan Staal.
- Nick Johnson netted his first goal with Pittsburgh and his second-career NHL goal just 5:06 into the opening frame on a beauty of a play. Pascal Dupuis chipped a pass up to Johnson, who embarked on a 2-on-1 rush down the ice with Jordan Staal. Staal ended up sending the puck over to Johnson, who floated it past Lundqvist for the score.
- The Penguins’ already battered lineup was depleted even further on Sunday, as Eric Tangradi sat out with a concussion and Eric Godard served the first game of his 10-game suspension, both stemming from incidents in Friday’s 9-3 loss to the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh recalled forward Tim Wallace on Saturday to play on Sunday in his third game of the season. He finished with three hits in 6:36 of ice time.
#1. Ryan Callahan
RW - 24
#2. Marc Staal
Defenseman - 18
#3. Brian Boyle
Center - 22
4 shots, 4 hits
11 of 18 faceoffs (61%)
Author: Michelle Crechiolo