Penguins 3, Rangers 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Mark Recchi and John Cullen scored in a 2:59 span of the second period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Saturday night for coach Bob Johnson’s 200th NHL victory.
The Penguins have won three consecutive games for the first time this season, all with Frank Pietrangelo in goal. Pietrangelo also has a personal five-game winning streak after losing his first decision.
The Rangers have lost back-to-back games for the first time since they dropped their first two games this season. New York had won 11 of 12 before Friday night’s 3-2 home loss to the Islanders.
Recchi scored during a two-man advantage at 11:45. David Shaw was already in the penalty box for slashing when Randy Moller was called for cross- checking. Recchi nearly fanned on Joe Mullen’s pass across the crease but he was able to slide the puck under Mike Richter’s leg for a 2-0 lead.
At 13:45, Recchi fed the puck to Cullen, who cut down the slot and flipped a 15-foot backhander past Richter for his sixth goal.
Randy Gilhen put the Penguins ahead to stay with his third of the season at 5:14 of the opening period. His attempted centering pass hit Richter’s stick and deflected between the goalie’s legs.
John Ogrodnick got the Rangers’ only goal at 4:54 of the final period, putting a shot between Pietrangelo’s pads from 20 feet for his eighth of the season.
Recchi has nine points in his last three games while Joe Mullen and Cullen have points in eight consecutive games.
Johnson’s Calgary teams won 193 games from 1982-87. He is 7-6-1 in his first season with Pittsburgh.
Johnson is the 32nd coach to post at least 200 wins in the NHL. Five are active - Al Arbour, Bryan Murray, Mike Keenan, Roger Neilson of the Rangers and Bob McCammon.
Johnson didn’t have long to enjoy the milestone or the win. He was immediately headed to the dentist to have an abscessed tooth treated.
″The only casualty is the coach here,″ Johnson said. ″He goes under the knife in about 10 minutes.″
The Rangers failed on all six of their power play chances, something Neilson traced to Pietrangelo’s work.
″Their goalkeeper was excellent,″ Neilson said. ″We had chances but we either missed the net or shot the puck right at him. The last two nights the rebounds have been sitting there but they’re not going to where our guys are.
″I thought we played a good game tonight, really. We were outplaying them and outskating them. The 5-on-3 was certainly the turning point.″
″The power play would be a concern if we weren’t getting chances,″ New York forward Brian Mullen said.
The Penguins concentrated on clearing the rebounds and keeping the front of the net clear.
″When the guys are playing the way they did tonight that makes my job a lot easier,″ Pietrangelo said.
Although Pietrangelo has been Pittsburgh’s hottest goaltender, Johnson refused to designate him No. 1. Tom Barrasso came into the season in that position but he’s 2-4-0 with a 4.51 goal against average while Pietrangelo is 5-1-0 with a 2.84 average.
″Let’s just enjoy the victory,″ Johnson said. ″He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now.″
″I’m riding a pretty good wave right now,″ Pietrangelo said.