The New York Rangers finally scored on Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after two straight shutouts, but fell behind the Penguins three-games-to-one with a 4-2 loss last night in the National Hockey League playoffs.
The Rangers again struggled on the power play and gave up a shorthanded goal to the Penguins, who scored in each period.
Evgeni Malkin, Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen and Chris Kunitz scored for Pittsburgh. Carl Hagelin’s second-period goal was the first for the Rangers since Derick Brassard’s overtime winner in Game 1 on May 2, and Mats Zuccarello added a third-period score.
Game 5 in the best-of-seven second-round series is scheduled for tomorrow night in Pittsburgh, which can advance to the Eastern Conference finals with one more win.
Malkin took a pass from Sidney Crosby and scored his fifth goal of the postseason to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead 2 1/2 minutes into the game at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers tied it 1-1 on Hagelin’s goal, which flew over Fleury’s left shoulder. It came 5 1/2 minutes into the second period and ended a streak of 145 1/2 minutes -- and 66 shots -- in which Fleury had not allowed a goal.
“He knows how good he’s playing for us,” Penguins defenseman Paul Martin said of Fleury. “He comes to the rink with a smile on his face every day and we love playing for him.”
Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead late in the second period on a shorthanded goal by Sutter that highlighted the struggles of the Rangers’ power play -- which went 0-for-2 last night and has been unsuccessful on its last 36 opportunities.
The Penguins made it 3-1 midway through the third period when Jokinen’s shot deflected off the leg of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and past goalie Henrik Lundqvist into the net.
Zuccarello pulled the Rangers within a goal with seven minutes remaining, only to have Kunitz respond for Pittsburgh less than a minute later.
“It’s a tough feeling,” Lundqvist told reporters. “It’s a disappointing feeling. Coming home with a tied series, and now we are in a big hole here. I don’t know where to start.”
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