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Pens down Rangers for seventh straight win

Nov 30, 2010 - 4:00 AM
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Kris Letang and Chris Conner scored 1:15 apart in the second period, as the surging Pittsburgh Penguins downed the New York Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden.

Maxime Talbot also tallied for the Penguins, who have won seven straight games since a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rangers on November 15. That's the lone defeat for Pittsburgh in its last 10 tilts (9-0-1). The Penguins haven't lost in regulation since falling 7-4 at home on Nov. 10 against Boston.

Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to extend his point streak to 13 games, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for Pittsburgh, which joined Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division standings.

Marian Gaborik lit the lamp for the Rangers, who were aiming for a third consecutive victory. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 24 shots in defeat.

"We talked about it this morning - (Sidney Crosby) is a good player," Lundqvist said. "He will draw a lot of attention. We had a stretch in the second period where they came hard. I thought in the first and especially in the third period that we played really, really well."

An opportunistic Talbot staked Pittsburgh to a 1-0 lead at the 5:10 mark of the first period. Former Penguin Ruslan Fedotenko gloved a puck in the New York zone and dropped it to the ice but right onto the stick of Talbot and he buried a shot from the right circle past Lundqvist.

Crosby slid a backhand pass to Letang, who one-timed the puck behind Lundqvist at 12:01 of the middle stanza. Conner jumped on a loose puck in the slot and beat the Rangers goaltender with a shot along the ice.

Gaborik, still feeling the effects of the flu, accepted a Michal Rozsival pass and fired a wrister from the top of the left circle to put the Blueshirts on the board with 3:41 remaining in the second period. Gaborik sat out Saturday's contest in Nashville because of the illness.

New York failed to convert on two power plays in the third period. The Penguins haven't surrendered a power-play goal in nine consecutive games.

"The penalty kill in the third was outstanding. We kept pressure on them, kept the puck on the outside, kept it on the wall," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma.

Game Notes

Crosby has 12 goals and 14 assists during his run...The Penguins last won seven in a row October 8-23, 2009...Pittsburgh has won five straight as the visiting team...Fleury turned 26 on Sunday...Rangers forward Erik Christensen skated in his 300th career game.