Penguins-Rangers: Penguins Fall Another Point Behind After OT Loss

Matt HunterCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2008

The Penguins went into Madison Square Garden having not won a game in six tries. 

They came out firing, with an unexpected goal from Mark Eaton to jump out to a 1-0 lead after the first.

The Penguins then got another goal by a very nice deflection from Jordan Stall in front of the net to put another tally up on the board.  The Penguins, however, were struck by the same sickness they have been struggling from all year—maintaining a lead.

The Rangers Nikolai Zherdev got the first goal by a slapshot by Scott Gomez which he deflected past Dany Sabourin high. 

Then the dreaded third period came around and both teams had their chances, but the Rangers were the only ones to capitalize on theirs.  Scott Gomez took another slap shot from the top of the circles, but missed and the puck took a crazy hard bounce directly back in front.  Sabourin was caught out of position and the Rangers Petr Prucha put the puck in the net, tying the game up.

The Penguins continued to buzz the rest of the third period and there were points in the period which it seemed the Crosby or Malkin were going to get one past Lundqvist, but they both were unable to do so.

The Penguins found themselves giving up a 2-1 lead to the Rangers for the second time this season in MSG, and again were going into overtime against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

The overtime was yet a continuing of the third period, and the Penguins continued to put pressure on the Rangers for the entire five minutes.  Malkin almost stuffed one in short side on Lundqvist, and then Crosby came in for the rebound but just before he hit it defenseman Rosival got his skate blade in the way and that chance was put away.

This shootout was a debacle for Dany Sabourin.  He had played such a great game, and kept the Penguins in it with some very big saves late in the third period.  However, it was as if a completely different goalie showed up for the shootout.

Dany Sabourin got owned in the shootout by all three of the Rangers skaters (Naslund, Zherdev, Sjostrom).  Naslund and Zherdev went backhand high, and Sjostrom shot a quick snap shot just above the right pad and under the blocker to get the game winning goal. Sjostrom got the game winning shootout goal in the teams first meeting this season as well.

The Penguins' shooters were Satan, Letang, and Crosby—who never shot.  Satan tried to pull a fake slap shot and then went backhand.  Lundqvist never bit on the fake shot, and just sat and waited for the backhand to come, and shut Satan down.  Letang then came down and took a wicked wrister that was just roofed right above the glove of Lundqvist and popped the water bottle off.

The Penguins had the two points right there for them, but again they gave up a late lead, and were faced with overtime and a shootout again.  By the end of the night the Penguins went from pretty much having the whole two points to getting only one and giving the Rangers two.

The Penguins are now 0-4-3 in their last seven games at MSG, and now are six points back of the Rangers with 32 points.

The Penguins now have to travel down to Raleigh to play the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night, where hopefully they can rebound from this tough loss and put two points up in the standings.