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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Penguins 4, Rangers 3 (SO)

By Katie Strang

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers rallied back from a 3-1 hole in the third period but failed to convert on a critical power play in overtime -- a missed opportunity that stung as they fell 4-3 in the shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night.

Pittsburgh’s Brandon Sutter scored the game winner in the fifth round of the shootout, giving his injury-ravaged Penguins their fifth straight win and 10th victory in the past 11 games. Superstar Sidney Crosby finished the game with two assists.

Meanwhile, the Rangers have dropped five of their past six despite Wednesday’s come-from-behind effort.

Just 14 seconds into the overtime period, the Rangers were awarded a 4-on-3 power play after Chris Kunitz plowed into goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist remained down on the ice for an extended period of time but ultimately returned to the crease as his teammates fumbled the man advantage on the other end.

The Rangers won in the seventh round of their first shootout of the season Sunday against the Calgary Flames.

All tied up: Though the Penguins built a two-goal lead in the third period, the Rangers charged back from a 3-1 deficit with a pair of markers from Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard to knot the score late in the frame. After Zuccarello crashed the crease to tap in a loose puck that dribbled through Marc-Andre Fleury’s pads to pull the Rangers within a goal, Brassard’s power-play marker with less than two minutes to play tied the game at three.


Sid’s streaking: On an assist on Kunitz’s power-play marker in the second period, Crosby extended his point streak to a season-high eight games. He has six goals and seven assists in that span and continues to pace the rest of the league in scoring. He leads the NHL with 49 points.


Decimated on D: With Deryk Engelland’s five-game suspension, announced Wednesday afternoon, the Penguins were without five of their top six defensemen. In addition to Engelland, the Pens are currently missing Kris Letang (upper body), Brooks Orpik (concussion), Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) and Paul Martin (broken tibia). The depleted Penguins squad is without ten regular roster players in total, including Evgeni Malkin (lower body) and James Neal (suspension) and entered Wednesday’s match with 170 man games lost.


All in the family: After making his NHL debut in Monday’s 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, defensive prospect Philip Samuelsson went head-to-head with his father Ulf, the former NHL defenseman and now assistant coach with the Rangers. Philip’s first NHL game made him and pops the fifth father-son duo to play for Pittsburgh. The elder Samuelsson played for the Pens from 1990 to 1995 and with the Rangers from 1995 to 1999.