NEW YORK (AP) — Derick Brassard and Ryan McDonough scored in the first period and Henrik Lundqvist made the goals stand up as the New York Rangers won the opener of their playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 Thursday night.
New York shut down Pittsburgh’s top threats, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, for a fourth straight victory over the Penguins in the postseason. The Rangers won the final three games of a second-round series last year, rallying from a 3-1 deficit.
In compiling the best record in the NHL, the Rangers finished 15 points ahead of Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference. But after the first period, these were two very even teams, with Lundqvist and Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury particularly outstanding. Lundqvist finished with 24 saves, while Fleury was far busier in making 36.
Blake Comeau scored in the second period for Pittsburgh.
Game 2 is in New York on Saturday night.