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Penguins 3, Rangers 0

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled even at one game apeice in their best-of-seven series with the New York Rangers with a 3-0 victory at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

The Penguins got a second period goal by defenseman Kris Letang, a power-play goal by forward Jussi Jokinen late in the third and an empty-netter by center Evgeni Malkin to seal the win.

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves for his seventh career playoff shutout.

The Rangers, losers of eight consecutive Game 2s dating back to the 2011 postseason, lost 13 straight games in which they had a series lead.

The game got off to a rocky start for the Penguins, as they had to kill three Rangers power plays in the first 7:30 of the game. The Penguins' penalty killers were stout, but the New York power play was also inept; mustering only two shots in the three opportunities. In fact, the Rangers are now 0 for their last 28 power-play attempts

The Penguins broke the scoreless stalemate at 10:26 of the second period. With Letang down from his normal position along the blue line, he corralled the puck and attempted a pass from the right wing faceoff dot to winger Chris Kunitz streaking down the slot. The pass was deflected up by the stick of sprawling Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi and past Rangers goaltender HenrikLundqvist.

Malkin picked up the primary assist on the goal to tie him with Kevin Stevens for fourth place on the Penguins' all-time playoff points list with 106.

While the Rangers' power play continued to struggle, it was the Penguins' power play that sealed the game for them. Right winger James Neal fired a slap shot off the pads of Lundqvist that deflected right to the stick of Jokinen at the bottom of the right wing faceoff circle. Jokinen wasted no time in roofing the puck over the down-and-out Rangers netminder at 16:30 of the third.

Malkin's empty net goal came with less than a minute left.

Lundqvist made 32 saves, many of them magnificent, in defeat.

Game 3 is set for Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The game will be New York's fifth game in seven days.

NOTES: The back-to-back games Sunday and Monday mark the first time Pittsburgh played back-to-back post-season games since Games 1 and 2 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. ... The Rangers' Game 1 overtime win marked the first time they opened a playoff series with an overtime win since Game 1 of the 1986 Patrick Division Finals. ... The winner of Game 2 won 12 of the last 16 series involving the Penguins. ... Heading into Sunday's contest, the Rangers were first amongst all playoff teams in blocked shots with 141. ... Scratches for the Penguins were D Brooks Orpik (undisclosed), D Deryk Engelland, C Jayson Megna, LW Tanner Glass (undisclosed), LW Taylor Pyatt, RW Chris Conner, and G Tomas Vokoun. ... Scratches for the Rangers were D Raphael Diaz, D Justin Falk, C Chris Kreider (hand), C J.T. Miller, and RW Jesper Fast. The official attendance was 18,638.
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