Posted January 20, 2013 on
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New York Rangers
The Pittsburgh Penguins kicked off the abbreviated season with a gritty win in front of an unfriendly crowd.
Coach Dan Bylsma's team figures to be in for more of the same with a visit to Madison Square Garden in store.
Hoping to build on its strong opening performance, Pittsburgh tries for a fifth consecutive victory over the Atlantic Division-rival New York Rangers on Sunday night.
After falling to Philadelphia in the first round of last season's playoffs, the Penguins (1-0-0) got a bit of revenge Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Flyers. Left wingers Tyler Kennedy and James Neal tallied early first-period goals for Pittsburgh, which held Philadelphia scoreless on five power-play opportunities.
Defenseman Paul Martin notched his second assist on Chris Kunitz's empty-netter in the final seconds.
"Well, it's been a long time since we played, but I think the energy is there," said captain Sidney Crosby, who went without a point. "There are a lot of guys in here who are comfortable with each other and I think that will help in the early going.
"This is a tough place to play, for sure. We saw exactly what we expected out there, tough crowd, tough team, but it's a good experience for us, and we'll take it."
Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to earn career win No. 227, surpassing Tom Barrasso for the most in team history, but Pittsburgh will get a look at its new backup on Sunday. Hoping to acquire a solid second goaltender after Fleury's struggles against the Flyers in the playoffs, the Penguins traded for Tomas Vokoun, and the two-time All-Star will make his debut Sunday.
The Penguins hope Vokoun can help them continue their success against the Rangers (0-1-0), whom they had their way with toward the end of last season. Pittsburgh suffered back-to-back losses to New York before outscoring coach John Tortorella's team 16-5 during a four-game winning streak.
Vokoun is 6-2-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average in his last nine starts against the Rangers.
Henrik Lundqvist's season, meanwhile, got off to a rough start Saturday in a 3-1 loss at Boston. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner allowed all three goals as the Rangers, who went 0 for 5 on the man advantage, were outshot 34-21.
"This is a tough matchup," center Brad Richards said after scoring the team's only goal. "It's a good matchup for the first night, to see where you are at."
New York had a chance to tie the score with a 5-on-3 power play in the third period, but only managed two shots during the 90-second stretch.
"If we score a goal there ...,'' captain Ryan Callahan said. "It definitely hurts momentum. That's how it works in this league. You can't be discouraged by that."
Rick Nash, acquired from Columbus in a blockbuster five-player deal in the offseason, tallied an assist in his Rangers debut. He has five goals and five assists in 10 career games against the Penguins.
Lundqvist went 12-1-1 with a 1.67 GAA over his first 14 home matchups against Pittsburgh, but he's gone 2-4-2 with a 3.34 GAA in his last eight. The Penguins are 7-2-0 at MSG over the previous three seasons.
While Crosby didn't get on the board Saturday, he's recorded 10 goals and 17 assists during a 14-game point streak in this series.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Pittsburgh Penguins needed about seven minutes to make the Wells Fargo Center as quiet as the other 29 NHL arenas the past three months with goals by Tyler Kennedy and James Neal.
Despite the lockout that threatened the season, Philadelphia Flyers fans, eventually, made their presence known. This place was sold out for a 3-1 Penguins victory, one of 13 games that kicked off...
James Neal scored twice, Evgeni Malkin assisted on three Pittsburgh goals, and the Penguins chased reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist from the net in the second period of a 6-3 victory over the Rangers in New York's home opener on Sunday night.
Neal, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Niskanen all scored in the first period, and Malkin set up Pascal Dupuis in the second to push...
The lockout is over and training camps have concluded. It's time to get back to playing games. The Penguins enter this season as one of the Stanley Cup favorites for the fifth year in a row. Their first year as contenders, the Penguins lost to the Red Wings, followed by a Stanley Cup win in Detroit in 2009. The last three seasons have been utter disappointments, two of...
Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Saturday.
Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers in the first game for both teams since the end of the 113-day NHL lockout.
Chris Kunitz added an empty-netter in the final seconds for the Penguins.
About 20,000 fans filled the Wells Fargo Center and they were welcomed back...
The New York Rangesr (0-2-0) lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0) by the score of 5-2, last night. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
,,,since the Rangers didn't bother showing up last night, I won't bother doing a game recap.
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Pens-Rangers: Sunday notings & dotings
Fans will remember two openers ago when Philly beat the Penguins to open the CONSOL Energy Center (CEC) with unknown goalie Sergei Bobrovsky leading his team to a 3-2 victory. Tyler Kennedy scored Pittsburghâs first ever goal at the CEC, with Paul Martin getting the primary assist. It was dÃ©jÃ vu all over again yesterday...
PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins opened their 2013 season by winning at a place where their 2012 season ended bitterly. Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored in a span of 2:40 in the first period and the Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 Saturday afternoon in a rematch of a 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals series. "I think there is always a little bit...
Tyler Kennedy, James Neal, and Chris Kunitz each scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots as the Penguins beat the Flyers 3-1 Saturday in Philadelphia. Anyone expecting a matchup similar to the circus-like six game playoff series from April left very disappointed. Both teams had stretches of strong defensive play and both goaltenders, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ilya Bryzgalov...
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PHILADELPHIA - Tyler Kennedy and James Neal scored in a span of 2:40 in the first period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 Saturday afternoon in a rematch of a 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals series. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots to win his 227th game, passing Tom Barrasso for first place on Pittsburgh's all-time list. The teams kicked...
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Before today the best 60 minutes of Paul Martin's Penguin career was his introductory press conference.
Today Martin and the rest of the defense set the tone with a complete 60 minute effort.
We can tell ourselves that this game will never avenge being beat in the playoffs by the Flyers, but guess what it does a little bit.
Especially when you think about the fact...