for this game

Lundqvist, Rangers blank reeling Penguins

Jan 6, 2009 - 3:55 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Beating the Pittsburgh Penguins is nothing new for Henrik Lundqvist. Seeing his teammates score two power-play goals is something he has witnessed infrequently.

Lundqvist made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season and the New York Rangers scored a pair of power-play goals en route to a 4-0 victory over the slumping Penguins on Monday night.

Nigel Dawes and defenseman Paul Mara provided the offense, scoring early with the man advantage for the Rangers, who improved to 2-3-1 in their last six games.

Captain Chris Drury added insurance with a third-period tally and Scott Gomez finished it off with an empty-netter during a man advantage for Pittsburgh.

"It was probably our most complete game of the year," Drury said. "It is pretty amazing what you can do when you play in the system, play for 60 minutes, play hard and play smart. It was a big win for us."

"Everybody seemed to have an extra step tonight," Mara added. "We know how it feels to win games - we had it early in the season."

Getting support from a power play that entered the third meeting with Pittsburgh as the fifth-worst in the league (14 percent) proved to be enough for Lundqvist, who is 14-6-3 in 24 regular-season appearances against the Penguins.

"If we want to win games, our power play has to be good," Lundqvist said. "We have the skill. I don't know why it hasn't been working. Tonight, they really stepped up."

In his latest win over Pittsburgh, Lundqvist saw his teammates score more than once on the man advantage for the fourth time all season and first time since a 6-3 home loss to Vancouver on November 19.

This showing on the power play came after the Rangers went 1-for-17 in their previous five contests.

"It's great," New York coach Tom Renney said. "You kind of wonder if your power play was getting one a night where you'd be in the standings. But it was good tonight and it's something to build on."

"Anytime you can score on a power play, especially when it's struggling, it's nice," Dawes said. "We just really wanted to try and simplify it. Tom just went with lines instead of units and we just were getting traffic (to the net) and that's how we scored those two goals."

Lundqvist stopped 12 shots in the first period, eight in the second and seven in the third to post his second career shutout over the Penguins and 18th career. He also notched his first blanking since April 3 at the Nassau Coliseum in a 25-save performance against the New York Islanders.

"He played well," Renney said. "He played great tonight."

His best save of the night came in the second when he used his left shoulder to stop Evgeni Malkin's breakaway attempt. Lundqvist also denied captain Sidney Crosby late in the second.

"I haven't even been close to a shutout," Lundqvist said. "Just going into the third without any goals against felt pretty good to me.

Lundqvist also became the fifth goaltender in NHL history to begin his career with four consecutive 20-win seasons and first since Mike Liut from 1979-1984. Lundqvist joined Mike Richter, Ed Giacomin and Dave Kerr as the fourth Ranger to post four straight 20-win seasons.

The Swede also had to be especially sharp as Pittsburgh had four power plays in the opening 20 minutes, seven through two periods and eight overall.

The Rangers won their eighth straight regular-season meeting over Pittsburgh, but the Penguins have suddenly encountered problems beating anybody in the last month.

Two days after a 6-1 home loss to the Florida Panthers that saw Crosby get 21 penalty minutes, the Penguins dropped their fifth in a row and lost for the 11th time in 15 contests (4-11-0).

"It's a regular losing streak," Crosby said. "It's tough. It's not easy and when it's tough a lot of people point fingers, not people inside this room but people outside this room.

"It's easy to do that when a team is not playing well. It's easy to point the finger, but in here, we're going to try and help each other and we're not going to point the finger and try to get out of this together and get ourselves back on track."

The skid has seen the Penguins fall out of the top eight in the Eastern Conference. They have gone scoreless in their last 32 power plays and have just one tally in 134 minutes, 40 seconds.

"It's tough to stop," Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal said. "We had a few chances, we hit a few posts. It's tough momentum to stop and do the right things to win games."

Crosby was held without a point for the third straight game as he took five shots. He also took an interference penalty just two seconds into a Pittsburgh power play in the second moments after the Rangers went up 2-0.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves but was beaten by Dawes' one-timer from the left circle that went off defenseman Rob Scuderi's stick just 60 seconds into the game and Mara's slap shot from the blue line late in the second.

The Rangers then finished off the win when Drury had plenty of room in front of Fleury and turned Petr Prucha's centering feed into a one-timer.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) NIGEL DAWES 7 (PAUL MARA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 1:00
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) PAUL MARA 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 17:27
    3RD PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 11 (PETR PRUCHA, NIGEL DAWES) 12:30
    NYR - (SH) SCOTT GOMEZ 8 (CHRIS DRURY, MICH

    Jan 5 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - (SH) (EN) SCOTT GOMEZ 8 (CHRIS DRURY) 16:49

    Penguins 0, Rangers 4  3rd - 3:11Jan 5 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - CHRIS DRURY 11 (PETR PRUCHA, NIGEL DAWES) 12:30

    Penguins 0, Rangers 3  3rd - 7:30Jan 5 9:16 PM
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    Penguins 0, Rangers 2  3rd - 14:20Jan 5 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) NIGEL DAWES 7 (PAUL MARA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 1:00
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) PAUL MARA 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 17:27
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 12 8 20
    NYR

    Jan 5 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) PAUL MARA 3 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 17:27

    Penguins 0, Rangers 2  2nd - 2:33Jan 5 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    NY RANGERS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) NIGEL DAWES 7 (PAUL MARA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 1:00
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 12 12
    NYR 8 8
    GOALIES: PIT - MARC-ANDRE FLE

    Jan 5 7:48 PM
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    Nomadictrooper Added 5 roots

    Penguins 0, Rangers 1  1st - 19:00Jan 5 7:15 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - (PP) NIGEL DAWES 7 (PAUL MARA, MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 1:00

    Penguins 0, Rangers 1  1st - 19:00Jan 5 7:13 PM
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    Penguins vs. RangersJan 5 8:55 AM
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    Penguins vs. RangersJan 5 8:54 AM
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