for this game

Third-period outburst leads Penguins over Rangers

Jan 29, 2009 - 5:15 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- After weathering a storm in the second period, the Pittsburgh Penguins erupted over the final 20 minutes to end their homestand on a good note.

Defenseman Kris Letang scored twice during a five-goal third period as the Penguins skated to a 6-2 triumph over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Petr Sykora also netted two goals and captain Sidney Crosby added a tally and three assists for the Penguins, who completed a 3-2-0 homestand with their fourth win in six games overall.

"Really important," Crosby said of his team opening the second half of the season with a win. "We've had a long layoff, probably longer than most teams. We're playing a team that had one game under their belt already, so we had to make sure we didn't hurt ourselves. The first 10 minutes, it took us a bit to get our feet under us. But after that, we did a good job."

Jordan Staal notched a goal and an assist while defenseman Ryan Whitney set up a pair of tallies for Pittsburgh, which improved to 9-0-2 in its last 11 home meetings with New York.

Nikolai Zherdev and defenseman Marc Staal scored for the Rangers, who had won three of the first four matchups between the teams this season.

"I thought we did some dangerous things with the puck in the offensive zone," New York coach Tom Renney said of the third period. "Our second period was excellent. We thought we had 40 minutes to build on, and instead we didn't."

With the game even at 1-1 after one session, New York outshot Pittsburgh, 18-8, in the second but was unable to snap the tie. The Penguins then scored a fluke goal early in the third en route to a barrage that left the Rangers reeling.

"We did a great job," Crosby said. "(Jordan Staal) started it off. That was big for us. We wanted to make sure that we started well early, and we got the next goal. Staalsy started all that, and we built off it from there."

"It's great for the confidence of the team," Letang added. "I know we've been struggling a little bit before the break, so it's just important to win these games at home, especially against a hard division team. It's good for everyone. We've got to build on that for games in the future."

Just 71 seconds into the final period, Jordan Staal backhanded the puck into the crease from the left corner. It hit the stick of Henrik Lundqvist and caromed past the All-Star goaltender, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 edge.

"They got a little bit of a fluky goal there, and that seemed to turn the game around," New York's Markus Naslund said. "We just got away from our game plan after that."

Letang doubled the lead at 6:18, beating Lundqvist high to the glove side with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle after receiving a cross-slot pass from Crosby.

"I took my time," Letang said. "I faked and I saw nobody coming on me. Gilles Meloche, the goalie coach, told me to always (shoot) high glove or high blocker against Lundqvist because he's really big and he covers a lot of ice down (low)."

Less than four minutes later, Sykora completed his two-goal performance as his shot from the slot deflected off Marc Staal's stick and between the pads of Lundqvist for a 4-1 bulge.

"We needed that goal," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "I thought that it was the killer goal we needed."

"It was good to see everyone contributing offensively," said Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis, who recorded an assist. "It was a good period to watch - some nice goals, some highlight goals. Letang got two. He always scored goals growing up, so it was good to see him score."

Marc Staal got back the goal with 6:05 remaining, beating netminder Marc-Andre Fleury to the glove side with a wrister from the left circle. But Letang capped his first career two-goal effort with a shot from the inner edge of the right circle with 3:39 to go, and Crosby lifted a backhander over Lundqvist's left shoulder from the left circle with 1:40 left to conclude the Penguins' outburst.

"I just tried to turn and fire it," Crosby said. "Thought it might surprise him a little bit. Just tried to put it on net."

"It was an unfortunate loss, no doubt about it, but I think we're playing a lot better as a team right now, even though we had a terrible third period," Naslund said. "I think we've got to take the first two (periods) out of this game and then look at the last two or three weeks the way we played."

Lundqvist, who yielded six goals in the second period of Sunday's All-Star Game, blamed himself for the disappointing third session against Pittsburgh.

"I just played terrible," the Swede said. "I can't explain it. We played great the first two, and I played pretty good, I think. I made a mistake on the second goal, and then they get another one. I just lost my game in the third, totally.

"I'm upset with myself right now. ... I could destroy this locker room."

Therrien was happy to see Letang have a breakthrough performance.

"He's competing, he's making a good first pass offensively. I think it's going to be good for him," Therrien said. "We all know he's got a lot of skill. It's always a matter of time for guys like this. Don't forget, he's only 21 years old. There aren't many 21-year-olds in this league that have the role we give him and the ice time we give him."

Fleury made 32 saves, while Lundqvist turned aside 27 shots.

"Marc-Andre Fleury saved us in the second period," Therrien said. "He was outstanding. He gave us a chance to stay in the game."

Zherdev opened the scoring at 2:24 of the first period, beating Fleury with a wrister from the inner edge of the right circle for his first goal in 14 games. But Sykora forged a 1-1 tie just 4:11 later, when he knocked in a bouncing puck on the doorstep.






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    Rangers 2, Penguins 6  FinalJan 29 7:12 PM
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Rangers 2, Penguins 6  FinalJan 28 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 0 1 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 5 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 13 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, AARON VOROS)
    2:24
    PIT - PETR SYKORA 18 (CHRIS MINARD, JORDAN STAAL) 6:35
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 15 (RYAN WHITNEY) 1:11
    PIT - KRISTOPHER LETANG 2 (SIDNEY

    Jan 28 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    PITTSBURGH 6
    3RD PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 18 (EVGENI MALKIN) 18:20

    Rangers 2, Penguins 6  3rd - 1:40Jan 28 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    PITTSBURGH 5
    3RD PRD: PIT - KRISTOPHER LETANG 3 (EVGENI MALKIN) 16:21

    Rangers 2, Penguins 5  3rd - 3:39Jan 28 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - MARC STAAL 2 (SCOTT GOMEZ, MARKUS NASLUND) 13:55

    Rangers 2, Penguins 4  3rd - 6:05Jan 28 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 19 (SIDNEY CROSBY, RYAN WHITNEY) 10:01

    Rangers 1, Penguins 4  3rd - 9:59Jan 28 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - KRISTOPHER LETANG 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, MARK EATON) 6:18

    Rangers 1, Penguins 3  3rd - 13:42Jan 28 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: PIT - JORDAN STAAL 15 (RYAN WHITNEY) 1:11

    Rangers 1, Penguins 2  3rd - 18:49Jan 28 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 0 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 13 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, AARON VOROS)
    2:24
    PIT - PETR SYKORA 18 (CHRIS MINARD, JORDAN STAAL) 6:35
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR

    Jan 28 9:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 13 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, AARON VOROS)
    2:24
    PIT - PETR SYKORA 18 (CHRIS MINARD, JORDAN STAAL) 6:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 8

    Jan 28 8:12 PM
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    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Rangers 1, Penguins 1  1st - 10:36Jan 28 7:55 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 18 (CHRIS MINARD, JORDAN STAAL) 6:35

    Rangers 1, Penguins 1  1st - 13:25Jan 28 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: NYR - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 13 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, AARON VOROS) 2:24

    Rangers 1, Penguins 0  1st - 17:36Jan 28 7:43 PM
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    Rangers vs. PenguinsJan 28 7:07 PM
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