Penguins top Rangers 3-0 to even series 1-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 5, 2014 at 2:20 am •  Published: May 5, 2014
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby flicked the puck away from a New York Ranger, darted around another and veered in on Henrik Lundqvist.

The sizzling wrist shot sailed high and wide of the net and ultimately out of play.

Not that it mattered. The message had been sent. For the first time perhaps all postseason, Crosby looked like Crosby.

The fact the Pittsburgh Penguins looked like the Pittsburgh Penguins was hardly a coincidence.

Kris Letang broke a scoreless tie in the second period and Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves for his seventh playoff shutout to lift the Penguins to a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday night, tying the second-round series at one game apiece. Game 3 is Monday in New York.

Crosby's postseason scoring drought reached 13 games, but after looking lethargic in a Game 1 loss he responded with arguably his best game of the playoffs. The regular-season scoring champion and Hart Trophy finalist pumped out a game-high six shots while providing a spark his team desperately needed.

"To see Sid play like that tonight was really inspiring for everybody in our dressing room," Letang said. "He was really dangerous."

The Rangers not so much.

After taking Game 1 in overtime, New York looked very much like a team playing for the fourth time in six days. The Rangers mustered only 22 shots and spent most of the night in their own end relying on the typically brilliant Lundqvist to bail them out.

"They played a little harder than we did in certain areas and for longer and we didn't sustain it," New York forward Brad Richards said. "They were desperate. They knew they had to win this game."

Letang's 15th career postseason goal matched Larry Murphy's record for Penguins defensemen. Jussi Jokinen scored during a third-period power play, and Evgeni Malkin added an empty-net goal for the Penguins.

Lundqvist made 32 saves, but the Rangers never threatened to head home with a commanding 2-0 lead. New York's limp power play went 0 for 4 and hasn't scored in 29 straight advantages.

The Rangers have lost eight straight Game 2s and have dropped an NHL-record 13 consecutive games when leading in a series.

They had their chances to jump ahead early, only to be let down again by the power play.