Rangers Vs. Penguins: Pittsburgh Falls 3-1 To New York, Jordan Staal Injured Late In Collision With Mike Rupp

New York rolled off three unanswered goals as the Penguins dropped their first game of the New Year on Friday night.

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Rangers Vs. Penguins Final Score: Jordan Staal Injured In Pittsburgh's 3-1 Loss To New York

After enjoying nearly a week off, the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped their first game of the New Year on Friday night, falling 3-1 to the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center.

Ben Lovejoy opened the scoring to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. Lovejoy found a huge opening in the center of the ice as the Rangers went to the puck on the boards, which Craig Adams controlled and centered to Lovejoy. The Pittsburgh defenseman went with a low wrister to beat the Rangers' stud goalie Henrik Lundqvist. But that would be all Lundqvist would allow Friday, as he entered a zone and shut down numerous Pens' chances over the remaining 50-plus minutes of the game.

For more NHL action, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.

The Rangers would score three unanswered goals for the 3-1 win. After the Pens dominated play for much of the first, Brad Richards evened it up on an open net rebound after a bad angle shot from Marc-Andre Fleury's right. Brandon Dubinsky gave New York the lead on a shorthanded breakaway chance, with Ryan Callahan feeding him on a cross for the quick strike.

In the third, New York made it a two goal lead just over a minute into the period as Derek Stepan scored his 9th goal of the season on an unassisted play. The chance was handed to him when Fleury came out to play the puck but fanned on it with Marian Gaborik and Stepan rapidly approaching. Gaborik got to it first, hitting it off the post but Stepan was there to clean up the rebound and put it in the back of the empty net.

It appeared the Pens cut the lead in half later in the third, as James Neal put one past Lundqvist. But it was immediately ruled no goal on the ice, as a hard-charging Chris Kunitz was determined to have impeded the Rangers' goalie and his ability to play the puck. Kunitz did run into him as the frantic break developed.

Later in the third, injury was added to insult as Jordan Staal had to be helped off the ice after a direct knee-to-knee hit with Mike Rupp. It was supposed to be a welcome-back night for Rupp, but the Rangers' winger skated and collided directly into Staal's knee as he turned to come to the middle of the ice. It was an ugly looking injury to his left leg.

With or without Staal, the Pens have little time to lick their wounds as the New Jersey Devils come to town Saturday night.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Pens, visit SB Nation's Penguins blog, Pensburgh. For the perspective from the other side, visit Blueshirt Banter, SB Nation's New York Rangers blog.

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Rangers Vs. Penguins Score Update: New York Leads Pittsburgh By One After Two Periods

After two periods at Consol Energy Center, the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers lead the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. The Rangers scored two unanswered goals to beat Marc Andre-Fleury and come back for a one goal lead at the second intermission.

The Pens jumped out to a one goal lead in the first period when Ben Lovejoy scored his first goal of the season just over five minutes into the game. The Pens completely dominated the first period, particularly in the first ten minutes of the game which even forced Ranger coach John Tortorella to take a timeout six minutes into the first. Despite the one-sided play, the Rangers would even it 1-1 at the end of the period as Brad Richards slammed home a rebound off a bad angle shot.

For more NHL action, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.

Brandon Dubinsky would put the Rangers ahead early in the second on a shorthanded goal, beating Fleury for the one goal lead. Henrik Lundqvist was in a zone as the second period wore on, stymying Pittsburgh on the offensive end. After enjoying a long week of rest, the Pens will have to work their way back to even in the final twenty minutes.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Pens, visit SB Nation's Penguins blog, Pensburgh. For the perspective from the other side, visit Blueshirt Banter, SB Nation's New York Rangers blog.

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Rangers Vs. Penguins: Mike Rupp Returns To Pittsburgh

Mike Rupp endeared himself to Pens fans during this year's Winter Classic, but now he'll be facing off against them.

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