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Game 5 Notebook And Series Highlights

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins’ dramatic 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers was pretty draining – emotionally and physically.

So, a reporter wondered why Marian Hossa and Sidney Crosby seemed so business-like during their postgame press conference and asked if they were always so serious following big wins.

“In here, yes, but not in the dressing room,” Hossa said with a smile.

Crosby jokingly chimed in, “We’re pretty tired; give us a break, eh?”

That line brought a loud roar of laughter from the reporters as well as Hossa and Crosby.

NOT MANY PUCKS FOR FLEURY

The Penguins dominated play Sunday and, as a result, the Rangers managed only 22 shots against goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

New York had just four in the second period and 11 total heading into the third before scoring twice in a span of 1:22 early in the final frame.

“They just had two great chances early in the third. Marc was still pretty poised even though he didn’t get a lot of work early on, which is always tough for a goalie,” Crosby said. “Mentally, he had to stay in it. He was solid the whole series and he’s been like that the whole playoffs. I don’t think there’s anything that really needed to be said to him going into overtime; it was just business as usual.”

Fleury’s first thoughts after the Rangers’ two-goal barrage?

“A couple swear words,” he said with a smile. “I am not going to stop all of them and I try to get my mind off it right away. With the guys we have, we can get a couple of quick goals. It was different not having a lot of shots. It’s tougher to stay focused. After that, I just tried to forget about it and move on.”

After seeing their 2-0 lead neutralized, the Penguins stopped New York’s rally and pulled out the overtime win.

“It’s always tough when a team comes back like that. We expected it and knew they weren’t just going to quit there,” Fleury said. “I think we reacted well after that. The guys did a great job.”

SWEET 16


Marian Hossa’s overtime winner gave the Penguins their 16th OT triumph in franchise history. The last playoff overtime win came May 10, 2001, when Darius Kasparaitis gave the Penguins a 3-2 victory at Buffalo.

“This feels good. There’s a lot of stuff that’s said and goes on in a playoff series, so it feels good when you come out on the winning side when you’re shaking hands,” Crosby said. “There’s a little more reward in this win.”

It was the Penguins’ first playoff series win at home since beating Washington, 4-2, in the 2001 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

OVERTIME ROUTINE

Sunday’s game marked the first playoff overtime game for many on this young Penguins squad. Fleury didn’t alter his approach, though, during the third intermission.

“I just tried to treat it was like the third period all over again. I didn’t change anything. Everybody kept their routine with what they do and focused on getting that last goal,” he said. “I just sat around, drank some Gatorade, had a chat and relaxed a little bit and before getting back out there.”

SERIES NOTABLES

*The Penguins are now 16-4 all-time vs. the Rangers in the playoffs. That is the second-most wins all-time for the Penguins vs. an opponent in the playoffs. (The Penguins have beaten Washington 26 times in the postseason).

*After winning Game 5 vs. the Rangers, the Penguins made team history by opening a playoff year by winning their first five home games. It broke the old mark of four, which first happened in 1970 when they won Games 1 and 2 vs. Oakland and Games 3 and 4 vs. St. Louis.

*The Penguins hold a 16-15 record all-time in Game 5 of a series, including an 11-4 record in those games on home ice.

*The Penguins are 22-20 all-time when they have a chance to clinch a playoff series, including 9-8 at home and 13-12 on the road. They are 5-1 in their last five such games.

*Three of the last six series clinched on home ice have been against the Rangers.

*Evgeni Malkin recorded the fifth penalty shot in the Penguins playoff history during Game 4. Only one of those five have been successful which was May 11, 1992, by Jaromir Jagr vs. the New York Rangers

*Brooks Orpik had a game high eight hits in Game Four. Jordan Staal tied for second with six.

*Hal Gill and Kris Letang each had a game high four blocked shots in Game Four.

*The Penguins equaled a team record by scoring a power play goal in each of the first seven playoff games, tying a record that was set in 1989 (April 5-21).

*The shutout against the Penguins in Game 4 was the 11th all-time against the Penguins. The last shutout in the playoffs was in Game 5 vs. Ottawa last season.

*The Penguins have won the next playoff game three times after being shutout in the previous playoff contest. Only one of those was in the same season (April 12, 2001, shutout, April 14, 2001, win)

*Georges Laraque scored a goal in Game 3, his first playoff goal since May 25, 2006, in the Western Conference finals vs. Anaheim while he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

*Kris Letang registered his first career playoff point with an assist on Ryan Malone's goal in the third period of Game 3.

*The shutout by Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 2 was the 15th shutout in Penguins playoff history.

*Sidney Crosby has multiple points in six of his last eight playoff games (2+12).

*Adam Hall scored his first goal of the playoffs with an empty net goal in Game 2. It was his first playoff goal since scoring the game-winner on April 21, 2006, while playing for the Nashville Predators.

*Ryan Malone had nine points (3+6) in 13 career playoff games. His father Greg Malone had eight points (3+5) in 18 career playoff games.

*The four goals allowed by Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 1 are the most he had allowed in a game since November 17th vs. the New York Rangers.

*The Penguins hold a 117 -104 record all-time in the playoffs, including a 64-49 record at home and a 53-55 record on the road.

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