|Date of game: 11/11/2014
Recap: NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Mats Zuccarello, Martin St. Louis and Kevin Klein all scored during a three-goal first period, and the New York Rangers sent the Pittsburgh Penguins' seven-game win streak to a screeching halt with a 5-0 rout at Madison Square Garden.
Rick Nash recorded a goal and two assists and Henrik Lundqvist turned back all 33 shots he faced as the Rangers bounced back strongly from back-to-back defeats over the weekend.
Derick Brassard added a goal and both Derek Stepan and Marc Staal had two assists to help New York deny the Penguins an opportunity to avenge their seven-game loss to the Rangers in last season's Eastern Conference semifinals.
"We knew that to be able to compete against a team like Pittsburgh, who are on the top of their game, we needed a total team effort and that's what we got tonight," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. "From the goaltender out, our forwards did a good job of helping out our defense. The defense did what they had to do to defend and move the puck up. We got some timely goals and we got some timely saves."
Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves for Pittsburgh, which had allowed just eight goals total during its seven-game surge.
The Rangers came out with both focus and energy, peppering Fleury with eight shots over the first five minutes of play and claiming a 1-0 lead 8:23 in when Zuccarello beat Fleury with a quick shot following Stepan's faceoff win.
The goal came just over a minute after New York's Tanner Glass cleared a puck that squirted behind Lundqvist on a wrister from Nick Spaling.
New York increased the margin shortly afterward, as Nash got to a loose puck on a drive by Staal that was blocked in front, then sent a pass across the crease that St. Louis deposited in with 9:01 left in the opening period.
"We weren't ready to compete," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "That's really what it came down to."
Klein made it a 3-0 advantage with a blast from near the blue line that struck the skate of a Penguins defender and redirected past Fleury with 5:13 to go in the frame.
"I felt like the way we set the tone in the first really helped us," Lundqvist said. "From there it just continued throughout the game - the forecheck, the energy, making decisions with and without the puck."
Lundqvist did his part as well by stopping 14 first-period shots, and Brassard got in the act midway through the second when he ripped home a shot from the left circle on a Rangers' power play.
Nash capped the scoring in the third period with his league-leading 12th goal of the season, which came with the Rangers short-handed at the 7:45 mark of the stanza.
Stepan won a race to a puck that Staal dumped down the ice before delivering a no-look backhand pass to a trailing Nash, whose shot got through Fleury's pads for a commanding 5-0 lead.Game Notes
Brassard's goal ended a streak of 39 straight penalty kills by Pittsburgh,
which hadn't allowed a power play goal since a loss to Dallas on Oct. 16 ...
The Penguins had outscored the opposition 21-7 in the first period coming in
... Rangers defenseman John Moore returned from a five-game suspension for an
illegal check on Minnesota's Erik Haula on Oct. 27 ... Penguins forward Craig
Adams skated in his 302nd consecutive game, tying Jordan Staal for the second-
longest stretch in club history ... Stepan's assist on Nash's goal was his
200th career point ... Pittsburgh forward Beau Bennett made his season debut
after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury.