|Date of game: 5/7/2014
Recap: NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - There was finally a goal on a New York power play, but the only problem for the Rangers was that it was scored by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Brandon Sutter's shorthanded goal in the second period gave the Penguins the lead for good as Pittsburgh took a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 4 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, while Chris Kunitz and Jussi Jokinen also lit the lamp to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.
Marc-Andre Fleury, coming off back-to-back shutouts, made 13 saves to help the Penguins sweep the two road games and give the team a chance to close out the series at home in Game 5 on Friday.
"It's a nice cushion you know, but nothing's done," said Fleury. "It's fun for now, it's a nice win. But get back at it Friday."
New York's power play woes continued as the team went 0-for-2 in this game and has now failed on 36 straight chances on the man advantage. The last power play goal for the Rangers came in Game 2 of their first-round victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round.
Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello scored and Henrik Lundqvist gave up all four goals on 27 shots in the loss.
"We didn't pick a good night to manage the puck the way we did tonight," said New York head coach Alain Vigneault. "I don't want to take any credit against Pittsburgh, they forced the play and they played a real solid game without the puck that obviously forced us into a lot of those turnovers."
The game was tied when the Rangers were awarded their second power play of the game at 17:19 of the second after Malkin was called for tripping Derick Brassard.
It was Pittsburgh, though, who took advantage as Brian Gibbons skated down the left wing and tried to fake Lundqvist, but lost control of the puck. Sutter, though was following up the play and popped the loose puck into the net for a 2-1 lead with 1:33 to play in the second.
"I think when you play against this team you have to realize that every little play matters," said Lundqvist. "They have the skill, and they do make you pay if you are not careful."
The Penguins got some insurance at 7:02 of the third after Jokinen caught up to his own miss behind the net and sent a turnaround shot on net from the left side where it went off the right skate of Marc Staal and in for a 3-1 lead.
"Every player wants to play their best and wants to be that hero," said Jokinen. "And I'm no different. You want to be that difference maker."
The goal proved fortunate as the Rangers got one back at 13:07 after Zuccarello brought the puck in down the left side and skated all the way across before beating Fleury with a backhander from the right side for his third of the playoffs.
Pittsburgh, though, got it back just 57 seconds later after Malkin caught up to a Sidney Crosby dump-in along the right boards and skated around the net, backhanding a pass to the front where Kunitz one-timed it home.
New York pulled Lundqvist with over two minutes to play, but was unable to get any pressure and cut into the deficit.
The first goal of the game went to Pittsburgh at 2:31 of the opening period. An Anton Stralman turnover was picked up by Malkin and he sent it to the left for Crosby, who tried to pass it back in front but it hit off a Ranger. Malkin, though, grabbed the puck and used a turnaround backhander to fool Lundqvist for his fifth of the playoffs.
After 145 minutes and 30 seconds without a goal, the Rangers finally got one past Fleury at 5:30 of the second after Hagelin received an outlet pass from Ryan McDonagh and blew through the defense, snapping a shot into the right corner for New York's first goal since the overtime winner in Game 1.Game Notes
Pittsburgh was 0-for-3 on the power play ... The New York man advantage is
operating at 6.8 percent in the playoffs ... Crosby had two assists in the
game and nine points in the playoffs, while Malkin leads the team with 12
points (5g, 7a) ... Pittsburgh has won all four previous postseason meetings
with New York, posting a 19-5 mark and 8-3 at Madison Square Garden.