- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: The Rangers lost for the first time ever at Consol Energy Center, falling 2-0 to the Penguins on Tuesday night. The Rangers had been 4-0-0 in Pittsburgh’s brand-new building. The Penguins (34-21-5) are now eight points behind the Rangers (38-15-5) in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings. It was the sixth time the Rangers, who went 0-for-3 on the power play, have been shut out this season, and first since Feb. 7 against New Jersey.
GENO: Evgeni Malkin looks like a serious Hart Trophy candidate. He proved why on Tuesday night. Malkin took a long pass from Kris Letang and opened the scoring 1:05 into the middle frame when he beat Henrik Lundqvist with a backhander on the breakaway. Malkin now ranks second in the NHL in goals with 33. He added his 300th career assist on Steve Sullivan's power play goal at 11:14 of the second.
KING! Lundqvist was pelted with rubber all game long and made 29 saves, but his four-game winning streak between the pipes came to an end, as he fell to 28-12-4 on the season.
WHAT THE HECK? Ryan McDonagh played a 3-minute, 32-second shift in the first period because he couldn’t get off the ice. Stu Bickel thought he was supposed to be a forward during a third-period shift, so Brian Boyle was forced to man one of the points. Bickel got an earful when he headed back to the bench.
SECOND-PERIOD FLEURY: Marc-Andre Fleury (31-14-3) earned his third shutout of the season and franchise-record tying 22nd of his career, making 27 saves. He was at his best in the second period, when he robbed Artem Anisimov on the breakaway with a sprawling glove save, and later snagged Derek Stepan's slapper. Fleury also got a little help from the post on McDonagh’s shot in deep.
UP NEXT: Rangers at Islanders, Friday at 7 p.m.
36dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald