When it comes to playing the Rangers, the past few seasons have not been too kind to the Penguins. The Broadway Blueshirts have ended the Pens’ last two seasons, and boast an 11-1-1 record in the last 13 meetings including playoffs. The Penguins urgency finally paid off Thursday night. Behind three goals late in the second period, the Penguins cruised to a 4-1 win over the Rangers at Consol Energy Center.
The first period was rather slow with both teams heading into the intermission tied at zero. Things picked up in the second after Rangers goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, dropped his stick and shoved the net off its moorings.
You mad bro? pic.twitter.com/SzGIETehB5
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 4, 2016
Lundqvist was handed a delay of game penalty, merely a start to unfortunate events to come. Chris Kreider got the Rangers on the board with 3:20 left in the period, bringing back painful memories for the Penguins from the past four games against New York.
That pain ended just 57 seconds later when Sidney Crosby scored his 26th goal of the season, banking the puck off of Lundqvist’s leg into the net to tie the game. Crosby’s goal was the first time the Penguins scored on Lundqvist this season. Things only got worse for the Rangers from there. Evgeni Malkin gave the Penguins the lead for good 21 seconds later for his 25th goal of the season. Consol Energy Center was roaring and only got louder when Patric Hornqvist made it 3-1 with 34 seconds left in the period on a power play goal.
Antti Raanta ended up taking over netminding duties to start the third period after Lundqvist did not return to the bench following the second intermission. The change did not matter as the Penguins put the finishing touches on the resounding win with a Phil Kessel empty net goal with just over two minutes left. The Penguins were able to exact revenge after being bullied by the Rangers on February 10th at Consol.
Marc Andre Fleury picked up the win after saving 27 shots on 28 attempts after an overall solid effort in net.
Porter gets injured
While the first period was slow, it was quite physical with forcing Penguins forward Kevin Porter into the trainers room. Porter was smashed into the boards by Viktor Stalberg, with his leg going first into the boards. Porter ended up needing assistance getting to the locker room and did not return to the game. The crazy thing was that play was not stopped while Porter slowly hobbled to the bench. Coach Mike Sullivan calls it a “lower body” injury and will most likely address Porter’s injury tomorrow further after tests.
Inside the King’s Head
Henrik Lundqvist has had better nights at Consol Energy Center. After a dominant first period, the wheels completely fell off seemingly after his outburst with the net. Lundqvist was run over by teammate Ryan McDonagh but was under the impression it was Hornqvist that got him. In a bizarre sequence, Lundqvist flipped out and went on to shove the net off its moorings. Anyone could tell there that Lundqvist lost his composure and was prime for the pickings the rest of the game. The Penguins cashed in with three goals in the final 2:10 of the period, putting the game out of reach. Lundqvist was seen storming off by himself into the locker room smashing his goalie stick after the period. The mystery still is why he did not return for the third period, but the end result was already forged after his meltdown.
The Penguins will return to Consol Energy Center Saturday afternoon when they host the Calgary Flames. The puck drop will be at 3 p.m.
Photo credit: @Penguins