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Jeffrey dusts off Rangers

Rookie center Dustin Jeffrey scored a goal in regulation and threw the dagger in the shootout, leading the undermanned Penguins to a come-from-behind 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Penguins 4 – Rangers 3, SO
Madison Square Garden, New York City

Heading into the All Star Break, the Penguins took a 5-1 record into their five days off. The Pens came back from the break without the services Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Mark Letestu, but that didn’t stop them. Mike Rupp and Chris Kunitz both scored for the Pens while call-up Dustin Jeffrey tallied both the Pens’ first goal and the lone shootout goal in the Pens’ 4-3 win in Madison Square Garden.

New York opened the scoreing at 3:52 of the first when Brandon Prust scored his eighth goal of the season against Marc-Andre Fleury. Both All Star goaltenders made phenomenal saves and the Rangers took their 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Rangers’ forward Artem Anisimov put the Rangers up 2-0 less than two minutes into the second before the Penguins got a spark from Deryk Engelland dropping the gloves with Prust. With Kris Newbury in the box for elbowing and Pittsburgh on the power play, Jeffery notched a power play goal ten seconds into the penalty to cut the lead to one. Mike Rupp and Chris Kunitz added goals of their own to give the Pens the lead with a little over five minutes left in the second. The Penguins lost Jordan Staal to a five minute match penalty for a gloved punch to Prust in retaliation to a hit on Tyler Kennedy and an elbow to Staal’s face. Back on the penalty kill, the unit allowed only one goal from Ryan Callahan on the penalty to Staal–served by Eric Godard–to tie the game at 3.

Pittsburgh’s PK unit went to work twice more in the third for penalties to Zbynek Michalek and Kris Letang, killing both. Henrik Lundqvist didn’t allow another goal until the seventh round of the shootout when Jeffrey’s shot went five-hole on Lundqvist while Fleury made all seven saves.

PIT- Jeffrey (3), Rupp (5), Kunitz (17); NYR- Prust (8), Callahan(11), Aninimov (11), .
Assists: PIT- Kunitz, Talbot, Engelland, Michalek, Orpik and Goligoski. NYR- Wolski, Boyle, Dubinski, Gaborik, Del Zotto, and Zuccarello also tallied a helper each.
Special teams: The Penguins failed to score on their lone power play. Once again, the penalty kill put up a goose egg for the opposing power play. The Rangers were 0 for 3 with the man advantage as the Penguins No. 1 penalty kill has now set aside 30 in a row.

Fleury edged out Lundqvist as the Pens’ goaltender made 26 saves on 29 shots for a .897 percentage save percentage over Lundqvist’s .885. Fleury is now 24-11 on the season and 5-0 in his last five starts. His 24 wins are good enough for fourth in the league and he’s seventh in save percentage at .924. With a 2.20 goals against average, the first-time All Star is sixth in the league after his less than stellar start to the season.

The Pens return home to Pittsburgh to face the New York Islanders for the final time this season Wednesday night at 7 pm.

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