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Powerless Power Play; Penguins Lose 3-1 to Rangers

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Pittsburgh Penguins lines, New York Rangers

The New York Rangers (3-4-2) buried their chances while the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-4-1) did not. The Penguins were 0-for-6 on the power play and failed to generate enough high-danger scoring chances.

Despite the Penguins advantage on the shot clock and with the puck, New York took advantage of their power play midway through the third period.

Chris Kreider (4) deflected Adam Fox’s shot and New York earned a 2-1 lead which they did not relinquish.

After a choppy start, complete with a few turnovers and scrambling defensive zone coverage, the Penguins gathered themselves with a game-changing shift by Evgeni Malkin, who stole the puck behind the New York net. Then Malkin cycled in the corner with Kasperi Kapanen.

Jason Zucker (3) stuffed in a caromed shot by Chad Ruhwedel to finish the shift. The Penguins scored first in both games of the two-game set against New York.

Despite having the better number of chances in the first period, the Penguins pressured again late in the period. New York goalie Igor Shesterkin kept the puck out of the net as the buzzer sounded, and new Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen dropped the gloves with Brett Howden

It was Kapanen’s first fight as a Penguin.

However, the Pittsburgh Penguins power play has been anything but a “man advantage.” Through two periods, the Penguins’ power play was 0-for-5, but it did yield a couple of shorthanded breakaways.

The Penguins power play had only five shots on their first five chances. Their sixth power play with under five minutes remaining in the game was significantly better but yielded the same (lack of) result.

Following the Penguins’ fourth advantage late in the second period, it provided New York momentum and tired Penguins’ legs. With a delayed penalty, New York put six attackers in the offensive zone. Grinder Tom Rooney (2) was uncovered near the Penguins net and pushed a rebound through a sprawled Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith.

Both of Rooney’s goals have been against the Penguins this season.

New York outchanced the Penguins 8-4 in the first period, but the Penguins scored. In the second period, the Penguins outchanced New York 6-2, but New York scored.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph played nearly 18 minutes in the first two periods. His newfound top-pairing partner John Marino played nearly 20.

Marino played over 30 minutes total. Joseph neared 26 minutes again.

However, the Rooney goal kept the Pittsburgh Penguins’ dubious streak intact. The Penguins have not led after two periods in any of their 10 games this season. They’ve rallied to win five times and gained an overtime point against Boston.

Artemi Panarin added an empty net in the final seconds.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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