Looking to rebound from their blowout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins lead the New York Rangers 2-0 after two periods at Consol Energy Center. The Rangers are currently the best team in the Eastern Conference but the Pens shook off their poor third period from Sunday and dominated the first, controlling the action and out-shooting New York 11-6. But both teams were held scoreless through the first period.
It wouldn't take long, however, for the Pens to strike. The NHL's hottest player and its points leader, Evgeni Malkin, broke the scoreless tie just a minute into the second period. Malkin beat Rangers' All-Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist on a breakaway backhander to put the Pens ahead 1-0. Kris Letang was credited with the primary assist, setting up a perfect pass off the boards to start the breakaway for Malkin.
Steve Sullivan made it 2-0 Pittsburgh on an unassisted power play slap shot through traffic. The Pens capitalized on a Marc Staal tripping penalty, controlling the puck in the zone in a possession that culminated with Sullivan's blast. New York did not go quietly, and dominated the final five minutes of the period, peppering goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. But the Pens' goalie stood tall and the 2-0 lead held after forty minutes.