Rangers Lose Second, & Third Game To Pens, Down 3-0

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Rangers Lose Second, & Third Game To Pens, Down 3-0

Postby TeMerc » Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:56 pm

Sunday, April 27th 2008
PITTSBURGH - Jordan Staal scored a power-play goal in the second period and Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made the lead stand up, giving the Penguins a 2-0 victory Sunday over New York Rangers and a home-ice sweep of the first two games of their second-round series.

Staal's goal came with older brother Marc, a Rangers defenseman on the ice, and was all the offensive support Fleury needed while making 26 saves. Fleury helped the Penguins kill off two key Rangers power plays in the final six-plus minutes and Adam Hall scored into an empty net with 16.7 seconds remaining.

Games 3 and 4 will be Tuesday and Thursday nights at Madison Square Garden, where Pittsburgh is 0-3-1 this season.

Staal's power-play goal at 13:55 of the second came with the Rangers' best penalty killer, Chris Drury, off for hooking.

Evgeni Malkin gathered the puck in the left circle and fed it down low to Staal, who shifted from his backhand to his forehand to lift the puck over goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist, a Vezina Trophy finalist, played a superlative game, several times making multiple saves with traffic in front of him and the Penguins pressing to take a lead they knew would put further pressure on the Rangers. New York now must sweep the two games in New York to regain a tie in the series between Atlantic Division rivals.

Seconds before Staal scored his second of the playoffs, Pittsburgh's Marian Hossa and Ryan Malone couldn't convert from in close as the Rangers' Martin Straka rushed back to the bench to replace his broken stick - momentarily creating a 5-on-3 for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby also missed a good scoring chance.

Crosby didn't score but again occupied the Rangers' attention at both ends of the ice, sometimes in a distracting way. Crosby drew the penalty that led to Malkin's deflected game-winning goal in Game 1 on Friday, causing some of the Rangers to accuse him of diving to set up the power play goal in the final two minutes.

When Crosby went down again in the first period to draw another penalty, Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr - the former Penguins star - could be seen yelling at Crosby, "Stand up!"

So far, it's the much younger Penguins who are standing up to the pressure of the playoffs, winning their first six playoff games, something no other team in Pittsburgh franchise history has done.

Staal's game-winner no doubt delighted parents Linda and Henry Staal on their sod farm in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but only to a point. The Staals' parents decided not to attend the series because they knew one son would be disappointed when it ended.

Jordan Staal has played well in the playoffs so far after having a disappointing sophomore regular season, getting only 12 goals, none shorthanded. He had 29 goals and an NHL rookie-record seven short-handed scores as an 18-year-old.

Staal played a key role on Pittsburgh's penalty-killing unit, which fought off all six Rangers power plays. New York is 1-for-9 in the series.

Straka shoveled the puck between Fleury's pads during New York's next-to-last power play, but referee Dan O'Halloran - who felt the puck had been covered - blew his whistle before it crossed the goal line.
nwz NY Daily News
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Re: Rangers Lose Second Game To Pens, Down 2-0

Postby TeMerc » Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:19 pm

Rangers lost last nites game, more or less ensuring that the Pens continue on into the finals and give the Rangers a near guarantee of tee times this weekend.

On top of that, one of the key players got his spleen cut and is out for the season.
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