Sidney Crosby's goal, points streaks end in shutout loss to Rangers
Penguins captain minus-3 with zero shots
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and 58th of his career, leading the New York Rangers past Pittsburgh 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who didn't record a shot in the first two periods, failed to extend a career-high seven-game goal-scoring streak and an 11-game run of 12 goals and 22 points.
"We had some good chances," Crosby said. "They capitalized on theirs and we didn't. That was the difference."
Crosby, with seven goals and 12 points in the previous four games, also came in with a nine-game home goal-scoring streak, second in team history behind Mario Lemieux's 11 straight in 1995-96.
"I just liked the way we competed," Lundqvist said. "I felt like we were getting to loose pucks and rebounds. You need guys to step up when they get the opportunity to play more minutes and that's what we're having now."
There's no doubt that our goaltending was outstanding. [Lundqvist] made some big saves at key times and we were able to get some timely goals.- Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault on Henrik Lundqvist's 34-save performance
None bigger than Lundqvist, who recorded his 27th win of the season and passed Martin Brodeur for most victories by a goaltender in his first 11 NHL seasons.
Lundqvist has won nine of his last 12 starts and allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his last 18 appearances, helping the Rangers win again without captain Ryan McDonagh and eight-time 30-goal scorer Rick Nash.
"There's no doubt that our goaltending was outstanding," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "[Lundqvist] made some big saves at key times and we were able to get some timely goals."
4 straight wins
Kevin Hayes, Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, who won their fourth straight, and fifth in six games. The Rangers have at least one point in 14 of their last 20 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves for the Penguins, whose six-game home win streak ended. Pittsburgh, unbeaten in its last 10 at home, last lost a regulation home game against Carolina on Dec. 19. The Penguins previously won six of seven with points in 16 of their last 20 games.
Moore gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead early in the third period, snapping a sharp wrist shot over Fleury's shoulder during a 2-on-1.
Moore of that please! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Snipe?src=hash">#Snipe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash">#NYR</a> <a href="https://t.co/OtizMkJGuF">pic.twitter.com/OtizMkJGuF</a>—@NYRangers
Fast capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:31 left.
It was the first time the teams played each other since the 2015 Eastern Conference quarter-finals, when Lundqvist allowed just one goal in all four wins as the Rangers won the best-of-seven series in five games.
Crosby and the Penguins entered as one of the hottest teams in the league, averaging close to five goals during a six-game home winning streak, including a six-goal outburst against Anaheim on Monday.
But the Rangers slowed the pace and shut down the high-powered Penguins as Wednesday's game carried a low-scoring, playoff feel similar to last season's five-game series.
"We knew coming into this building that we were playing a really hot team and their top player was playing really well," Lundqvist said. "It was a great challenge for us."
Both teams were without top players Wednesday as the Rangers missed captain Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash, while Evgeni Malkin sat out for Pittsburgh.
Malkin, who will not travel for weekend road games at Carolina and Florida, missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury.
Nash, who hasn't played since Jan. 22, missed his seventh straight game with a bone bruise in his left leg. McDonagh missed his second game since sustaining a concussion following a punch by Wayne Simmonds during the weekend against Philadelphia.