Penguins Shutout Rangers in Game 2

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon 2-0 to give them a 2-0 lead in the best of 7 series.  Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside all 26 shots thrown at him by the Rangers offense to post his 2nd career playoff shutout.  With his first career shutout coming in game 1 during the first round against the Ottawa Senators, Fleury and his Penguins teammates have yet to lose a game this playoff season.  The Penguins have now won their first 6 playoff games, a first in Penguins franchise history. 

In the 1st period, the Penguins poured on the offense and put up 8-shots before the Rangers were able to record their 1st attempt on net.  Ultimately, the Penguins outshot the Rangers 14-10 in the period, the most open of the 3-frames.  The Penguins went 0-for-2 on the powerplay, but managed to put up 8-shots during the man advantage.  More importantly, the Penguins penalty kill was pehenomenal as it held the Rangers to just 4-shots in 3-attempts.  Despite it all, both goaltenders were flawless in the 1st period as it ended 0-0. 

In the 2nd period, the play tightened up as both teams put 9-shots on net.  The Penguins converted on their only powerplay of the period after Chris Drury took a hooking call at 12:22.  The Penguins were pressing hard on the powerplay with Ryan Malone and Marian Hossa both missing on excellent chances in front of Lundqvist.  Then at 13:55, with Jordan Staal posted in front of Lundqvist, Evgeni Malkin took the puck into the corner and made a hard cross-crease pass.  Jordan Staal stopped the puck on his backhand, moved it quickly to his forehand and lifted it over Lundqvist’s right pad as he was moving right to left.  The goal was Staal’s 2nd of the post-season and was assisted by Evgeni Malkin and  Ryan Whitney.  The Penguins successfully killed off the only penalty they had, a hooking call to Marian Hossa. 

In the 3rd period, the Penguins outshot the Rangers 9-7 and fought off a couple of late penalties to hold on for the win.  At 13:54, Petr Sykora was called on a high stick, but the Penguins managed to kill it off.  During the kill, the Rangers did manage to poke the puck through Fleury’s pads and into the net, but the play had already been blown dead by the referee who had lost sight of the puck.  Then at 17:38, Hal Gill took a cross-checking call and went to the box.  Because of the timing of the call and the desparate need for the tying goal, the Rangers were able to pull Henrik Lundqvist to gain the 6-on-4 advantage.  The Penguins defense and Marc-Andre Fleury were up to the task however, as they turned aside every attempt to keep the lead.  Then with just 17-seconds left on the clock, Adam Hall threw the puck up the wall on a clearing attempt and the puck deflected off the glass and down the ice into the empty net to make it 2-0.  At the final buzzer, a scrum broke out as Sean Avery confronted Marc-Andre Fleury for lifting his stick into Avery’s groin area.  Fleury’s actions were in response to two stick whacks that Avery placed on Fleury behind the play.  Hal Gill immediately came to the aid of Fleury and drove Avery up against the boards as other players came streaming in. 

The Penguins travel to the New York Garden for games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday.  The Penguins have yet to beat the Rangers at the Garden this season.  The last time the New York Rangers came back from a 2-0 playoff series defecit was in the first round 1996 matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penquins - Game Two
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