NEW YORK — Chris Conner, recalled from the minor leagues earlier in the day, netted two goals and the Pittsburgh Penguins scored twice one minute apart in the third period to beat the slumping New York Rangers 4-2 on Monday night.
After Artem Anisimov gave the Rangers their only lead 9:15 into the third with his second goal of the night, Evgeni Malkin got Pittsburgh even at 9:46 – 16 seconds into a power play. Conner then fired in a rebound of Sidney Crosby‘s shot one minute later to put the Penguins back in front.
Pascal Dupuis‘ empty-netter sealed Pittsburgh’s fourth win over the Rangers this season with 39.8 seconds left.
That was enough to give a win to Marc-Andre Fleury, who returned from a four-game absence caused by a broken finger.
Conner staked the Penguins to a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the game with his first of the season.
Anisimov made it 1-1 in the second for the Rangers, who had been shut out in their previous two games. New York has dropped three straight and six of eight (2-5-1), including four shutout losses.
New York had several chances to score more in this one but couldn’t take advantage of a four-minute power play in the third period after Jordan Staal was sent off for high-sticking, and another power play that came a few seconds after Staal left the box.
The Rangers recorded seven shots in the advantage, but Fleury stood up to them all. He finished with 28 saves.
One he would like to have back was Anisimov’s jam shot that was forced in at the right post and then nudged over the line by Fleury’s skate. Anisimov has nine goals this season.
Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves for New York.
The Rangers broke out of their latest long scoring drought when Anisimov netted the tying goal with 6:56 left in the second. After Christopher Higgins knocked the puck away from defenseman Mark Eaton inside the Pittsburgh blue line, Anisimov corralled it, cut across the slot, and let go a rising shot that eluded diving defenseman Kris Letang and beat Fleury.
Anisimov’s first in 18 games was New York’s first goal in 156 minutes, 32 seconds. The Rangers snapped an earlier power outage of 172 minutes, following another pair of consecutive shutouts, during a 4-1 loss at St. Louis on Jan. 16.
Conner, playing in only his seventh game of the season with the Penguins, made the most of his time alongside Crosby just 2:47 in. Skating on a 3-on-2 break, Conner took a right-to-left pass from the Penguins captain, glided into the circle and snapped a shot from the center that beat Lundqvist inside the left post.
Conner was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Monday and took the spot in the lineup vacated by 39-year-old forward Bill Guerin, who was scratched for the first time this season. Crosby has six goals and five assists against the Rangers this season.Notes
Crosby was chosen as the NHL’s third star of last week after he posted three goals and five assists in three games. … Conner had one assist during his earlier six-game stint with the Penguins. In 71 games with Dallas over three-plus seasons, Conner had seven goals and 14 assists. … Rangers enforcer Donald Brashear returned to the lineup after being scratched for five games. Center Erik Christensen sat out.
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