Rangers shake off slow start, beat Penguins 5-1
NEW YORK (AP) — Brian Boyle scored his first goal of the season and captain Ryan Callahan added his first since returning from a broken thumb as the New York Rangers matched a season high in goals with a 5-1 victory over the Penguins on Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh had won four straight and defeated New York eight times in nine meetings, but Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan scored 1:05 apart late in the first period to put the Rangers ahead. Boyle and Callahan connected within a 2:28 span of the second to send New York to its fourth win in five games.
Derick Brassard made it 5-1 at 9:57 of the third, and Brad Richards had two assists for New York, which rebounded from a 2-1 loss to Anaheim on Monday and completed a 3-1 homestand.
The Rangers quickly headed to a flight after the game for a meeting with the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Thursday.
Kris Letang’s power-play goal pulled the Penguins to 3-1 with 5:26 left in the second, but Callahan’s fourth of the season — in his second game back in the lineup — restored the Rangers’ three-goal lead 1:04 later.
“We generated some good chances, but there is no guarantee when you do that,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “We were generating, so I don’t think there was a need to force things.”
Marc-Andre Fleury, who sat out Pittsburgh’s 3-0 win at Columbus on Saturday, stopped 20 shots.
“We weren’t good,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “We gave them opportunities. We didn’t play at all at our game and then we got disjointed in our effort. We got disjointed in our game in the second.
“That wasn’t anything close to where we need to play or want to play.”
The Rangers (7-8) scored more than three goals for the second time this season but reached five for the second time in three games. New York has held opponents to two goals or fewer in eight straight games and nine of 10.
In other games, the NHL-leading Ducks had a 5-2 win over the Coyotes, the Predators beat the Avalanche 6-4 and the Blackhawks beat the Jets 4-1.
At Anaheim, Hampus Lindholm scored his first NHL goal and Corey Perry got the tiebreaking goal right before the second-period buzzer.
Ryan Getzlaf, Lindholm and Cam Fowler each had a goal and an assist in Anaheim’s triumphant return from a 5-2-1 road trip. With their sixth win in seven games, the Ducks lead the NHL with 27 points.
Colin Wilson had two goals and two assists and Viktor Stalberg added a goal and an assist as the Predators’ ended Colorado’s six-game winning streak. Carter Hutton made 11 third-period saves to preserve the win, and Gabriel Bourque scored into an empty net.
Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists for Colorado, which fell one win short of NHL history. The Avalanche were attempting to set a club record and match the 2007-08 Ottawa Senators for the best 14-game start in league history.