NEW YORK — The
Brandon Sutter scored a short-handed goal to break a second-period tie, and the Penguins rode that momentum to move within one win of the
Pittsburgh, which has won three straight following a series-opening loss, can advance with a Game 5 victory at home Friday night. The Penguins are looking to reach the East finals for the second straight year and the fourth in seven seasons.
"We know they are going to be desperate," Penguins captain
The Penguins turned a tied series into a 3-1 lead at the Garden, where they have won seven of nine and are 12-4 since Dan Bylsma became their coach. Overall, Pittsburgh is 19-5 against the Rangers in the playoffs and 9-2 in New York.
"This is one of the best places to come in and play," Bylsma said. "It's a great building and we seem to always have a rivalry with the Rangers, so we don't need that motivation for the playoffs. I don't have a good recipe for you."
A good start certainly helped.
Evgeni Malkin scored 2:31 in, and
The only negative for the Penguins was that Fleury allowed a goal for the first time in three games.
Mats Zuccarello cut it to 3-2 with 6:53 left on the Rangers' second shot of the third, but
Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves in the loss.
"This is not the ideal night for us," Rangers forward
"We want to try to bring it back here. Our goal is to keep pushing the series along. You never know what can happen."
The weary Rangers played for the sixth time in nine nights, and not even a full rest day on Tuesday or the return of forward
Jokinen, who has an eight-game points streak, made it 3-1 with a shot that struck the right leg of Rangers defenseman
Pittsburgh had regained the lead late in the second period by pouncing on New York's inept power play. Not only did the Rangers fail to score for the 36th consecutive advantage, they fell behind for the second time.
New York threw all the momentum back to the Penguins when Sutter scored with 1:33 left in the second. The Rangers turned over the puck shortly after a drop pass in the neutral zone. Brian Gibbons streaked in alone and had his shot stopped by Lundqvist, but the rebound sat in front and Sutter scored his fourth of the postseason.
"It was huge momentum for us going into the third," Crosby said. "The way we played in the third showed that we fed off that."
The Rangers broke out of their drought 4:30 into the second when
It was New York's first goal since
Any early lift the Rangers got from the return of Kreider was lost when Malkin gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
New York contributed greatly as a turnover by defenseman
The Rangers' sloppiness didn't end there. Several passes missed their targets, and multiple clearing attempts ended up on Penguins sticks. But New York mounted an extended challenge and kept the puck in the Pittsburgh end for at least a minute with about 6 minutes remaining in the first period.
However, despite tiring out the Penguins, the Rangers had only one shot during the sequence that ended when Staal was called for slashing.