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Insider Only Key Takeaway’s from the Penguins 3-0 win in Game 2

photo (17) PITTSBURGH 3 – NEW YORK 0
The Pittsburgh Penguins arguably put together their most dominant performance of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, en route to a 3-0 win in Game 2 over the New York Rangers to tie the best of seven series at 1-1.
The series shifts to New York Monday night.
Kris Letang and Jussi Jokinen all scored and Evgeni Malkin added an empty net goal in the win.
Marc Andre Fleury made 22 saves for the shutout. Fleury has a franchise record 7 career playoff shutouts and notched his 50th career playoff win, six behind Tom Barrasso (56) for the franchise lead.
Kris Letang’s second period goal was his 15th career playoff goal, tying Larry Murphy for the most in Penguins history among defenseman.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM GAME 2
1. Physical Play – The Penguins came out with a game plan to be very physical. They were a bit too aggressive and emotional leading to three early penalties but New York’s power play which is a disaster failed to score and grab the early momentum. “I thought our killers did a great job, answered the bell, and did an extremely good job,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. {New York} had [two] shots on three of those penalty kills. We gained momentum from there.”
The Penguins outhit the Rangers 15-4 in the first period and while Pittsburgh would be credited with just out-hitting New York 35-32 in the game, the Penguins were the far more punishing team, especially on the forecheck. When the Penguins go out of their way to be physical, it’s usually not a good thing for them but Pittsburgh is attacking New York with the belief that they can wear the smaller Rangers down this series.
2. Pens superior team at even strength: The Penguins dominated play at even strength in game 2, out-shooting the Rangers 29-16 at even strength. Pittsburgh defended extremely well and kept the Rangers to the outside. The Penguins gave up few prime scoring chances and defended the slot much better. If that trend continues the next two games, things strongly favor the Penguins coming out of New York with a 3-1 series lead. However, Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal in the loss and he’s playing at the level where you can’t rule him out stealing a couple games in this series.
3. Crosby breaking out?: Sidney Crosby failed to score for the 13th straight playoff game but Crosby was the Penguins best player on the ice last night. He was engaged from the start and showed the type of explosiveness that we haven’t seen from Crosby much during the post-season. He looks on the verge of breaking out.
4. Emergence of Letang: A big development for the Penguins has been the emergence of Kris Letang. He has been very good the past four games dating back to Games 5 and 6 in the Columbus series. Letang has been much improved at picking his spots better on when to join the offensive play. Letang had 1 goal, 2 assists.

5. McDonagh struggling: An emerging concern for the Rangers is top defenseman Ryan McDonagh. He’s dealing with a shoulder injury and doesn’t look right.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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