Jaromir Jagr enjoyed many special moments at Mellon Arena.
After all, he scored 439 goals and won a pair Stanley Cups during his 11 seasons in Pittsburgh.
However, the Penguins made sure Saturday night won’t register in his memory bank.
Heading into the contest, Jagr needed one more goal to become the 16th player in NHL history to reach the 600-goal plateau. Heading out of Mellon Arena, the Rangers superstar remained stuck on No. 599 as the Penguins kept him off the scoresheet in a 3-1 win.
“He is a really tough guy to handle. The guys on the ice did a really, really great job,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “Especially guys like [Josef] Melichar and [Sergei] Gonchar. They played almost every shift against him and they did a great job.”
Jagr was limited to three shots and finished with a minus-1 rating on the evening. Jagr entered the game with 12 goals and 24 points in 21 career games against the Penguins, including eight goals and 14 points in his last nine games vs. his former club.
“He is one of the top players in the world. You can’t give him time or space. If you do that, he’s going to make you pay,” Penguins winger Mark Recchi said. “We did a terrific job not letting him get to the middle of the ice and not letting him make plays. We had good back pressure on him and that’s really important when you play these guys.
“It was just a good win for us. We shut down their top players. We did a good job not giving them time and space and that’s important,” he continued. “When we do that, we can be a tough team to play against. When you’re playing in your division, they are really four-point games. This is a team that’s been playing pretty well and is a little bit ahead of us in the standings, so it got us that much closer.”