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Penguins’ Power Play Flops (Yet Again) in 1-0 loss to Rangers



Tristan Jarry gave the Pittsburgh Penguins the kind of goaltending they’ll need to succeed this season when the New York Rangers stopped by PPG Paints Wednesday night.

Jarry was outstanding, turning aside 35 of 36 shots, and played well enough to get the Penguins a couple of points most nights.

Just not this one.

That’s because New York goalie Jonathan Quick was even better, rejecting all 32 shots the Penguins threw at him in the Rangers’ 1-0 victory.

Quick’s impact on the game was obvious, but so was that of the Penguins’ power play, which went 0-for-5. It has been shut out in 14 of the Penguins’ first 18 games.

The loss was the Penguins’ third in the past four games and dropped their record back to .500 (9-9).

New York, which was coming off a loss to Dallas Monday, has not lost consecutive games this season and is challenging Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins played without their first- and second-line right wingers, Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell, both of whom are injured. Drew O’Connor filled in for Rust alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel, while Alex Nylander replaced Rakell with Evgeni Malkin and Reilly Smith.

Radim Zohorna shifted from right wing to left on the No. 3 line, and Vinnie Hinostroza was plugged onto the right side there.

Defenseman John Ludvig rejoined the lineup after missing 11 games because of a concussion (and conditioning assignment), playing opposite Ryan Shea on the No. 3 pairing.

Nylander had a scoring chance from close range on his first shift, but was unable to capitalize on it. That proved to be the first of several quality opportunities the Penguins couldn’t convert in the early minutes of play.

Failing to take advantage of those proved costly at 5:10, after Rangers center Mika Zibanejad picked off a Ryan Graves pass in the neutral zone and sprung Alexis Lafreniere on a breakaway.

Lafreniere beat Jarry with a backhander for what proved to be the only goal of the game. It also snapped the Penguins’ franchise-record run of nine consecutive games in which they scored the first goal.

After the Penguins’ power play couldn’t score after Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was penalized for holding Radim Zohorna at 13:28, Nylander appeared to tie the game when he threw a shot past Rangers goalie Jonathan Quick — who had lost his glove — from along the left-wing boards at 15:30.

The goal was waved off, however, after Rangers coach Peter Laviolette challenged that the play had been offside.

The Penguins got another chance with the man-advantage when Lafreniere hooked Marcus Pettersson at 16:07. The Penguins again were unable to manufacture a goal while up a man.

Ludvig was sent off for interference at 6:36 of the second, but the Penguins got through the subsequent two minutes unscathed even though the defense pairing of Kris Letang and Pettersson was stuck on the ice the entire time the Penguins were shorthanded.

In the waning minutes of the period, coach Mike Sullivan twice tried to generate a tying goal by dispatching Malkin with Crosby and Guentzel for a shift, to no avail.

The Penguins’ power play got three more opportunities to pull them even during the first 11-plus minutes of the third period, but none yielded a goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to practice Thursday at 11 a.m. at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.