Rapid Reaction: Penguins 5, Rangers 2


After a pair of wins in the Sunshine State, the New York Rangers were manhandled by the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 Friday night at Consol Energy Center.

Chris Kunitz and Jussi Jokinen both notched a pair of goals and Sidney Crosby delivered a three-point effort as the Pens spoiled New York captain Ryan Callahan's return from knee injury.

The Rangers were reckless with the puck all night and the Penguins capitalized.

After recording two straight wins in his return to favor, starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist gave up five goals -- the ninth time this season he has given up four goals or more.

Despite the shakiness in net during the first two periods, coach Alain Vigneault still came out with Lundqvist in the third period. Still, don’t be surprised to see Vigneault give backup netminder Cam Talbot the nod in net for Saturday’s match against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the last of a five-game road trip.

Third-period surge: Trailing by four goals in the third period, skilled winger Mats Zuccarello did his best to get the Rangers back in the game. He got the Blueshirts on the board with his goal at 7 minutes, 43 seconds, then assisted on Ryan McDonagh's seventh of the year as New York whittled the Penguins' lead to two just over four minutes later.

Still the star: Crosby continues to pace the competition with a league-leading 62 points. With a three-goal Pittsburgh lead, Crosby ripped a surgical backhanded shot past Lundqvist with 1:31 remaining in the second period for his 23rd goal of the season.

Two for Ju: Penguins winger Jokinen built a 3-0 lead for Pittsburgh with his pair of goals Friday night. The 30-year-old Finn has five points in the past four games for Pittsburgh.

Sochi-bound? After the much-discussed announcement on Wednesday unveiling the U.S. team, Hockey Canada is slated to roll out its roster for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday. Will Kunitz make the cut? The 34-year-old Saskatchewan native is having another monster season alongside Crosby, with 23 goals and 46 points in 43 games for the Pens. The former Ferris State standout continued to make his case Friday night with the game’s first goal. Kunitz tallied on the power play with 2 seconds remaining on Rick Nash's penalty to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead in the first period. You seeing this, Steve Yzerman?

Man down: Derek Dorsett sustained a leg injury after blocking a shot in the first period and did not return. The shot deflected, then was directed off Crosby’s skate to Kunitz for his goal at 13:09.