NEW YORK – Five goals on 17 shots – these Penguins sure are efficient.
Even though the Rangers posted a 39-17 edge in shots Tuesday night, the Penguins made their opportunities count.
“They did a good job of not letting us get too many shots,” Penguins winger Ryan Malone said. “Their gameplan was definitely to throw pucks on the net and I think we have to do a better job of regrouping in our own end and making sure we’re committed to defense.
“Next game, we’re going to want to throw the puck on net more and try to get some garbage goals. A win is a win and we’ll take it and move on.”
Nevertheless, Malone knows that losing the battle in shots is not a concern for Pittsburgh since the team has enough offensive talent to create solid scoring chances with a minimal amount of shots on goal.
“We know we have guys who can put the puck in the net and I don’t think we need too many chances,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure we’re getting more scoring chances than the other team.”
ROBERTS SITS OUT
Penguins winger Gary Roberts declared himself healthy to play Tuesday night after missing Games 3 and 4 against Ottawa and the first two contests with the Rangers due to a sore groin.
However, he was kept in street clothes for the game.
“Health-wise, I am feeling good, so I am just taking it day by day and hopefully get in there at some point,” he said. “It’s pretty tough to change our lineup right now. Our guys have played extremely well. The guys who have come in and played for our injured guys have played very well. Coming off a shutout, you can understand why there are no lineup changes. For me, it’s been a tough year, injury-wise and health-wise. At some point, hopefully I’ll get that opportunity to be a part of it again.”
Roberts can’t remember the last time he was a healthy scratch, but will work hard to regain a spot in the lineup.
“It’s been a while. You know what – there are always challenges along the way. I am just going to look at it in a positive way and I am not going to let it be a distraction for this team or for what our guys have accomplished so far,” he said. “We have a great group of guys who have stuck together and played hard for each other. It’s all about the team right now.”
GENO CASHES IN AT MSG
Evgeni Malkin’s two goals Tuesday night were the first of his career at Madison Square Garden. That’s hard to believe, considering his scoring pedigree.
Nevertheless, Malone was convinced no one was stopping the two shots he put into the back of the net Tuesday no matter what venue the Penguins were playing in that night.
“Just let Geno shoot, right? I think everybody on the power play did a good job, but when Geno shoots, you just kind of let it fly by you and make sure you’re not in the way,” he said. “He has a heavy shot.”
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Penguins tied a franchise record by scoring a power-play goal in seven consecutive playoff games. The first time they did it was from Apr. 5-21 in 1989.
The NHL record for one playoff year is 16 consecutive games, set by Edmonton in 1988.