The Pittsburgh Penguins won their eighth straight game after beating the New York Rangers 3-0 Saturday. Marc-Andre Fleury posted a shutout over the Rangers, stopping all 23 shots he faced in the game.
The Penguins got on the board early against the Rangers, as Beau Bennett scored his second goal of the year just over a minute into the first period. Pittsburgh held the Rangers to just four shots in the first period and kept New York’s offense at bay all night.
Neither team scored in the second, but the Penguins kept up the pressure with an aggressive attack. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best in the world, but hasn’t received much goal support from his team of late.
Tyler Kennedy scored a powerplay goal early in the third period to give Fleury a 2-0 lead. Pascal Dupuis scored 44 seconds after Kennedy, just over seven minutes into the third period to close out the Rangers.
The shutout is Fleury’s 23rd of his career, passing Tom Barrasso for the most all-time in Penguins history. Pittsburgh has now beaten the Rangers in seven straight meetings after Fleury’s record-breaking performance.
Dustin Jeffrey finished with two assists, and Sidney Crosby went without a point for the second time in three games. The win keeps the Penguins tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Canadiens with 42 points, just ahead of the Boston Bruins.
The Rangers were the best team in the Eastern Conference last season before losing to the New Jersey Devils in the Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In 2013, the Rangers are fourth in the Atlantic Division and battling it out with the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes for the last spot in the playoffs.
The Rangers need to find a spark soon if they hope on sneaking into the playoff picture after losing four of their last five games. The Rangers return home to take on the Hurricanes Monday after a quick three-game road trip last week.
The Penguins take on the Bruins Sunday in a key game featuring two of the best teams in the NHL. Pittsburgh beat the Bruins 3-2 last Tuesday in their only match-up this season. The Penguins win their eighth straight game Sunday and continue playing their best hockey as they fight to stand alone atop the NHL’s Eastern Conference.