Penguins falter in third period, lose to NY Rangers
Two days after a five-goal first period, the New York Rangers had to delay their offensive outburst until the Pittsburgh Penguins committed some big penalties in the third.
Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan scored power-play goals 11 seconds apart as part of a four-goal final period and the Rangers extended their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 5-2 win over the Penguins on Sunday.
New York took advantage when Matt Cooke was given a five-minute major penalty and ejected 4:36 into the third for an elbow to the head of defenseman Ryan McDonagh. After Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead with a short-handed goal during the long penalty, Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen was given four minutes for high-sticking Callahan three minutes later.
Gaborik slammed home a rebound of Brandon Dubinsky’s shot to tie the game at 2 with eight seconds remaining in the 5-on-3 advantage. Cooke’s penalty had just ended when Callahan scored the game-winner, his 23rd goal, from a bad angle on the goal line.
“It’s pretty easy to get down on ourselves [and] hang our heads after letting up a goal on the power play like that,” said Callahan, who has scored in three straight games and has seven goals in six games. “But to our credit, we showed a lot of character coming back and still working.”
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist made 38 saves in his 17th consecutive start despite being questionable with a stiff neck. He was run over in the crease on Friday night by Montreal’s Benoit Pouliot with 3:39 left of the Rangers’ 6-3 win, but stayed in to earn his 30th win of the season.
After sitting out of practice Saturday, Lundqvist got back into the net on Sunday.
“Hank played with some [guts], didn’t he?” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “He played very well right on through. He gave us a chance ... and then we capitalized on their penalties in the third period.”
Derek Stepan scored with 1:15 left and Dubinsky added an empty-net goal to close out the scoring.