PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby capped Pittsburgh's three-goal outburst in the first period, and the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 5-1 Sunday night.
Crosby scored his eighth of the season, Kasperi Kapanen netted his sixth and John Marino his first as Pittsburgh scored three goals on six shots in the opening period.
Evgeni Malkin and Zach Aston-Reese scored in the third period as the Penguins won for the ninth time in 13 games. Casey DeSmith made 22 saves in his second start since Feb. 11.
Pittsburgh, which recently took two of three from Philadelphia in the highly competitive East Division, have eight wins and points in 11 of their last 12 games against the Rangers.
Mika Zibanejad scored his third of the season for the Rangers, who had their season-best three-game winning streak halted.
Alexandar Georgiev started the game in net for the Rangers, but was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots. Keith Kinkaid made 16 saves in his first NHL action since Nov. 30, 2019. Igor Shesterkin remains day-to-day with a groin injury.
Zibanejad scored at 1:18, on the first shot of the game, but Pittsburgh closed the first with a three-goal flurry in just 1:01 to open a 3-1 lead.
Marino tied the game at 16:13 with his first goal since March 3, 2020, and Kapanen gave Pittsburgh the lead 39 seconds later on a breakaway. Kapanen has points in six of his last eight games against the Rangers.
Crosby split a pair of New York defencemen 22 seconds later and chased Georgiev from the game with a glove-side wrist shot.
PENS’ THREE-GOAL BURST
Sunday’s game against the Rangers was the second time in three games that Pittsburgh scored three first-period goals in less than 90 seconds.
Pittsburgh scored three times in 1:11 on Thursday at home against Philadelphia. But the Flyers overcame the early deficit and rallied to stun the Penguins with a 4-3 win.
The Penguins were able to hold on following their three-goal, 61-second first-period outburst on Sunday against the Rangers. But it didn’t come without tense moments, after Zibanejad missed an open net and hit a post in the second period, which would’ve made it a one-goal game. Pittsburgh also failed to capitalize on two second-period power plays, keeping it close.
McCANN LEAVES EARLY
Penguins’ F Jared McCann left Sunday’s game with about five minutes to play in the second period and did not return.
McCann, who scored the game-winning goal Saturday against Philadelphia, entered Sunday’s game on a three-game point streak. He had four points in five games and returned to the lineup on Feb. 27 after missing seven games with a lower-body injury.
TROUBA RETURNS FOR RANGERS
Rangers’ D Jacob Trouba returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing eight games with a broken thumb. Jack Johnson, who spent the last two seasons with Pittsburgh, was scratched.
Trouba, a first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, last played during a Feb. 16 home loss against the New Jersey Devils. The 27-year-old defenceman , who was initially expected to miss four-to-six weeks, had a secondary assist on Zibanejad’s game-opening goal. He has four assists in 15 games this season.
Pittsburgh concludes a five-game homestand on Tuesday against the Rangers. Pittsburgh is scheduled to play 12 home games in March, most in a calendar month in franchise history and second-most in NHL history. The Rangers are in the midst of a six-game trip.
Dan Scifo, The Associated Press