The veteran netminder recorded his league-leading 20th win,
stopping all five New York Rangers in a 4-3 shootout win for
Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Fleury is
7-1 in his last eight decisions.
Pittsburgh center Brandon Sutter scored in the fifth round of the
shootout after the tiebreaker was scoreless after four rounds,
giving the Penguins their 10th win in their last 11 games. He sent a
wrist shot past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist for his second goal
of the night.
The game went to a shootout after the Rangers failed to capitalize
on a 4-on-3 power play in the overtime. Fleury stopped six shots in
the extra session.
"It looked like both guys might not let one in, but Marc was
fantastic," said Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. "He didn't budge on any
of those (shots)."
The shootout was the second in a row for the Rangers (16-18-1). New
York knocked off Calgary 4-3 on Sunday.
Center Derick Brassard scored on the power-play at 18:14 to draw the
Rangers even at 3 in the third to force overtime. The goal ended
Pittsburgh's streak of killing off 19 short-handed situations in its
last seven games.
"We haven't come back in very many situations this year and in the
third we came back from a two-goal deficit," said Rangers coach
Alain Vigneault. "We had a chance to win it in OT and we had a few
chances in the shootout but couldn't get it in."
Pittsburgh (25-10-1) leads the Metropolitan Division with 51 points
despite a defense unit that has been fully healthy for just four
periods this season. However, its 2.18 goals-against-average ranks
fourth in the NHL.
New York (16-17-2) is now 1-4-1 in its first six games of a
franchise-record nine-game homestand that ends Dec. 23 against
The Penguins received goals from left winger Chris Kunitz, Sutter
and left winger Pascual Dupuis in regulation.
Left wingers Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin scored for New York,
along with Brassard. Zuccarello scored at 12:43 of the third to draw
the Rangers to within a goal at 3-2.
Pittsburgh scored two goals 1:01 apart in the third period, snapping
a 1-1 tie.
Dupuis snapped the tie at 5:25 with his sixth goal of the campaign.
Center Sidney Crosby sent a backhand pass to Dupuis, who one-timed
it past Lundqvist.
[to top of second column]
Sutter scored on the backhand at 6:26 to provide the Penguins
with a 3-1 cushion. The goal was Sutter's seventh of the season.
The goal was made possible by some good dirty work from Kunitz,
who dug the puck out from the end boards to find Crosby, who has
registered 12 points in his last eight games.
Besides defenseman Matt Niskanen and Olli Maatta, who have
skated in each of the Penguins 35 games this season, Pittsburgh
employed a raw defense corps against the Rangers due to injuries
to Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi and a
suspension to Deryk Engelland.
Brian Dumoulin, Robert Bortuzzo, Simoin Despres and Philip
Samuelsson combined for 22 games this season. Niskanen and
Maatta logged the most minutes among the Penguins defensemen
Wednesday, at 29:44 and 28:06, respectively.
"It's obviously more minutes than either player is accustomed
to," said Bylsma. "They have been getting their lions share back
there for sure. The expectation of how we play and the young
guys stepping in, is not to tread water. They're expected to
step in and contribute and play the right way. You see that in
the way they step over the boards."
New York tied it at 1 on a breakaway from Hagelin in the second
period. He received a breakout pass from defenseman John Moore
near center ice and with Despres draped on him, Haglin slid a
backhander under the pads of Fleury for his seventh goal this
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead at 12:44 of the second period when
Kunitz jammed his 18th goal of the season from a scrum in front
The goal was Pittsburgh's 32d on the power play, tying it for
the league lead with the Washington Capitals.
NOTES: Penguins D Deryk Engelland was suspended for five games
without pay for an illegal check to the head of Red Wings F
Justin Abdelkader on Dec. 14. Engelland was assessed a match
penalty for an illegal check to the head. Under the terms of the
collective bargaining agreement and based on his average annual
salary, Engelland will forfeit $14,529.90. ... The Penguins
called up D Philip Samuelsson from Wilkes Barre/Scranton of the
AHL on Dec. 16. He is the son of Rangers assistant coach Ulf
Samuelsson. ... Pittsburgh lost 170 man-games to injury this
season. ... C Evgeni Malkin missed his second straight game for
Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury. ... Since signing his
seven-year contract extension, Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist is
2-3-1 with a 3.42 goals-against-average. ... Lundqvist made his
538th appearance for the Rangers, tying Ed Giacomin for third
place among goalie appearances on the club. ... Rangers RW Derek
Dorsett is tied for the NHL lead in fighting majors, with nine.
[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.