for this game

Penguins clinch East's No. 4 seed

Apr 6, 2012 - 4:18 AM
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Marc-Andre Fleury matched a franchise record and the Pittsburgh Penguins secured home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

Fleury made 35 saves to notch his 226th career win, tying him with Tom Barrasso for the most in club history.

Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Tyler Kennedy and Richard Park each had a goal for Pittsburgh, which locked up the Eastern Conference's fourth seed and will meet Philadelphia in the opening round.

"We needed two points to get home ice so we knew that was important," said Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby. "I thought both teams played pretty hard to make sure they're playing good heading into the playoffs."

Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov supplied the goals for a Rangers team that had already clinched the top spot in the East. New York and Vancouver remain tied with 109 points in the race for the Presidents' Trophy after the Canucks also lost on Thursday.

Martin Biron stopped 27 shots in his 500th career game.

A point shot by Letang deflected in off Kunitz, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead 71 seconds into the game.

The Rangers quickly responded with a goal from Dubinsky. Ruslan Fedotenko drove the net off the right boards and whipped a backhander repelled by Fleury. Dubinsky collected the rebound in the slot and buried it at 4:23.

Pittsburgh moved back ahead when Kennedy beat Biron from the bottom of the left faceoff circle at the 8:27 mark of the first period.

Park banked the puck off Biron and across the goal line to make it 3-1 at 5:11 of the second period. Malkin added his 49th goal of the season off a pass from Kunitz midway through the third.

A collision at the Pittsburgh blue line resulted in Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik receiving a five-minute major for a knee-on-knee hit on New York's Derek Stepan. The incident occurred with 4:39 remaining.

After the game, Tortorella had several negative things to say about the hit and the Pittsburgh organization.

"It's a cheap, dirty hit," said New York head coach John Tortorella. "It's just...I wonder what would happen if we did this to their two whining stars over there. I wonder what would happen, so I'm anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just no respect amongst players, none. It's sickening.

"It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time and look what happens. But they'll whine about something else over there, won't they."

Anisimov scored on the subsequent power play, but an empty-netter by Letang sealed the win.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh snapped a five-game slide at home to the Rangers on February 21...After dropping the first two games in the season series, the Penguins outscored the Rangers 16-5 in winning the last four...Pascal Dupuis assisted on Park's goal, extending his career and NHL-season-high point streak to 16 games (9G, 12A)...Kunitz recorded his 200th career assist...The Penguins reached 50 wins for just the second time in club history (56 in 1992-93)...The Rangers finished the road portion of their schedule with a 24-12-5 mark. They tied the franchise record for most road wins in a season.