The Pittsburgh Penguins remain perfect in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and in position for a second straight series sweep.
Evgeni Malkin had two goals and one assist as the Penguins prevailed 5-3 over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist, while Georges Laraque and Ryan Malone completed the scoring for the second-seeded Penguins, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-0.
"We're in a great position," Hossa said. "Nobody would think that we would be in this position after three games.
"But right now, we're greedy. We want to win another one."
Game 4 goes Thursday at Manhattan (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).
"They're bending, but they're not breaking," Rangers head coach Tom Renney said. "We appreciate that, but we're going to keep coming at them."
Sidney Crosby contributed two assists, as did Sergei Gonchar and Petr Sykora.
Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 36 shots, improving to a sizzling 15-1-1 in his last 17 starts.
"The penalty kill and Marc were incredible tonight," Crosby told CBC Sports. "With the desperation they had, we tried to do our best to match.
"In the first period, we did a pretty good job. In the second, we didn't play well at all and, in the third, we picked it up again.
"You cannot afford to have bad periods. But you have to find ways to ways to win sometimes."
Pittsburgh has yet to lose in the playoffs, having swept the Ottawa Senators 4-0 in the opening round, and knows that eight of the 10 previous teams with 7-0 records went on to win the Stanley Cup.
"We all realize how hard we have worked to get to this point," Crosby said. "We cannot get caught [looking ahead].
"We have to keep the same mindset we have had all playoffs, [which is] worry about the next one. I think we have done a good job of playing the game, erasing it and focusing on the next one."
Martin Straka and Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist apiece for the fifth-ranked Rangers, who went 4-0 against the Penguins at home in the regular season.
Ryan Callahan had the other goal, and Henrik Lundqvist surrendered five goals on 17 shots in the setback.
"It is pretty tough to be down 3-0," said Jagr, who took 10 shots. "But they have to win four games.
"We have a chance to make history. It might be my last game, so let's make it special."
New York went 0-5 with the man advantage, but Pittsburgh scored twice on three power-play oppportunities.
"Clearly, what we have to do is avoid the penalty box," Renney said. "We have been stride for stride with them throughout the series, without the penalties."
Hossa opens scoring
Pittsburgh opened the scoring 62 seconds into the contest.
Pascal Dupuis broke up ice and fired a pass to a hard-charging Crosby, whose redirection was stopped by Lundqvist, but Hossa flipped the rebound into the net for his third goal of the playoffs.
Straka tied it 1-1 at 14:32 of the first period, whacking in a rebound from a sharp angle as Jagr jostled with Sykora and Malone in a crowded crease.
Video review confirmed that the puck crossed the goal-line before Malone shoved Jagr and knocked the net off its moorings.
"We did a good job of staying pretty calm," Crosby said.
The Penguins regained the lead at 16:17, when Sykora's pass glanced off Malkin's skate into the slot for Laraque, who tallied his first goal of the playoffs.
"We just made an error in our defensive zone and they capitaized," Rangers forward Blair Betts told CBC Sports.
Malkin scored 84 seconds later on a one-timer from the point, his first-ever goal at MSG and the perfect capper to a day in which he was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.
"I'm definitely proud of him," said Crosby, the reigning Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy holder.
"As a teammate, you always want to see other guys do well. He did that all season."
Penalty trouble for Penguins
Pittsburgh encountered penalty trouble in the second period, keeping Crosby and Malkin on the bench and providing the Rangers with some much-needed momentum.
Gomez outraced Penguins defenceman Rob Scuderi to the puck behind the net and fed it in front to Callahan, who cut the deficit to 3-2 with his second goal at 12:07.
New York kept pressing and tied it 3-3 in 64 seconds as Jagr stickhandled out from behind the net and whisked the puck under Fleury's left arm for his third. Gomez later had a glorious opportunity to put the Rangers ahead, only to ring a slapshot off the left post and out.
With Ryan Hollweg serving a minor penalty for boarding, Malkin struck iron as he cranked a slapshot off the right post and behind Lundqvist for a power-play goal, his second of the contest with 2:07 left in the period.
"It was a very, very dumb penalty to take, we know that, and we came close to kiling it," Renney said. "It was the turning point in the game, as far as I can tell."
"It was not too smart on his part," Penguins defenceman Ryan Whitney said of Hollweg slamming Sykora into the boards. "Because of it, we were able to go into the third period with a lead."
Pittsburgh was outshot 14-4 in the period, but it led 4-3 into the third.
"We didn't get a lot of shots," Crosby said. "But we found a way to keep the lead and set ourselves up for the third."
Malone completed the scoring 2:30 into the third period as he deflected Kris Letang's point shot past Lundqvist for his third.