Sunday, December 10, 2017
Sports

Crosby breaks ice, leads Penguins win

NEW YORK — Sidney Crosby finally got his first goal of the playoffs, and Marc-Andre Fleury earned his second shutout in two nights as the Penguins regained home-ice advantage Monday night with a 2-0 victory over the Rangers in Game 3 of their best-of-seven second-round series.

Crosby snapped a 13-game goal drought in the playoffs to give Pittsburgh the lead in the second period, and Jussi Jokinen added a breakaway goal. Fleury stopped 35 shots to back up his 22-save effort Sunday in a 3-0 win in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins, who lost the opener in overtime, lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-1.

Henrik Lundqvist had 13 saves for the weary Rangers, who played for the fifth time in seven days.

The tide turned in the second period for the third straight game. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said earlier Monday that he "hated" the second period in Games 1 and 2, and he couldn't have liked this one, either.

New York had 2:15 left on a 4-minute power play that began in the first, but couldn't cash in. Then Crosby took a long stretch pass from defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, outraced Marc Staal, and beat Lundqvist between the pads for his 41st career playoff goal.

"Eventually you're going to see him get a goal," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said before Game 3. "Eventually you're going to see him break out. There's no question about that."

Penguins0202
at Rangers0000

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesGoc, Pit (roughing), 5:16; Neal, Pit, double minor (high-sticking), 18:15.

Second Period1, Pittsburgh, Crosby 1 (Bortuzzo, Kunitz), 2:34. 2, Pittsburgh, Jokinen 5, 15:20. PenaltiesKlein, NYR (cross-checking), 10:19; Jokinen, Pit (holding stick), 13:12.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesMartin, Pit (hooking), 18:02. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 7-7-1—15. N.Y. Rangers 10-16-9—35. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 0 of 1; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 5. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 6-3-0 (35 shots-35 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 5-5-0 (15-13). A18,006 (18,006). T2:31. Referees—Dan O'Halloran, Kelly Sutherland. LinesmenSteve Barton, Pierre Racicot.

Hurricanes ax Muller

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Hurricanes fired coach Kirk Muller and most of his coaching staff, one week into Ron Francis' tenure as general manager.

"You watch the team over the course of the year and I just felt at this point going forward, we needed a fresh start," Francis said.

Assistants John MacLean and Dave Lewis also were fired and goaltending coach Greg Stefan was reassigned to the team's pro scouting department. Rod Brind'Amour, a third-year assistant who was the captain of Carolina's Cup-winning team in 2006, will remain on the staff.

Bruins "influence" refs?: The mind games have started in the Boston-Montreal series.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said his team will not be thrown off by what he feels is an attempt to plant a seed of doubt in goalie Carey Price.

He feels the same way about what he thinks is Boston coach Claude Julien's bid to catch a break from the referees. The rivals face off tonight in Montreal with their series tied at 1.

"It's something they've tried in the past," Therrien said of Boston's psychology against goalies. "We all remember in the Stanley Cup final when they talked about (Chicago's) Corey Crawford and how he was giving up goals glove side.

"It's a part of their strategy. It's the same thing with Claude's comments, how they had to deal with penalties — which I find they're coming out of pretty well. They're trying to influence the decisions of the officials. These are the Boston Bruins. It's always been like this and it won't change."

Bruins defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug have suggested the key to beating Price is to shoot high, particularly in traffic.

"We've definitely noticed that when he's screened, he's looking low and he gets really low," Hamilton said Sunday. "I think we can score a lot of goals up high."

Lindsey award: Crosby of the Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Flyers are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented to the league MVP as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association.

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