Sidney Crosby’s first goal of the playoffs was enough to give the Pittsburgh Penguins victory over the New York Rangers Monday night.

Crosby scored early in the second period and Jussi Jokinen added another late in the period to seal the deal for Pittsburgh.

Jokinen beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist one on one immediately after serving a penalty.

At the other end for the Penguins Marc-Andre Fluery was solid in goal, stopping 35 shots and claiming his second straight shutout.

With this 2-0 win, the Pittsburgh Penguins take a 2-1 lead in the series and reclaim home ice advantage.

And Crosby's goal was the icing on the cake for the Pittsburgh outfit.

The star's postseason score couldn’t have come at a better time and will undoubtedly help the team move forward with confidence.

But it was the strong performances from Marc-Andre Fluery that may prove more important.

Crosby's goal was inevitable - fans and the Rangers knew it.

But I still was very concerned about whether or not Fluery would able to steal some games for his team.

Up to now, he has been very inconsistent, and average at best in my opinion.

But Fluery showed on Monday night that he is not to be underestimated, with his past two outings perhaps his best games all year.

With this victory, Fluery has stopped a total of 57 shots without allowing a goal. It's been an incredible turn around for Fluery and it'll will be interesting to see how long it'll take for the Rangers to get one past the goal tender.

For the New York Rangers, these two losses will be very frustrating to take.

The Rangers heavily outshot the Penguins 35-15 in Monday night’s game and were the more physical team as they outhit Pittsburgh 32-16.

Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis were involved all game long. Henrik Lundqvist did his job by stopping 13 shots, and yet the Rangers weren’t rewarded for their effort. It just goes to show that the stats don’t always tell the whole story. 

The one way, in my opinion, for the Rangers to start scoring goals is if they get more traffic in front of Marc-Andre Fluery. It’s as simple as that.

Fluery doesn’t do well at all when under a lot of pressure in close.

The Rangers had five powerplay opportunities in game three and couldn’t convert on any of them. This is because Fluery wasn’t pressured in any way and could see pretty much everything.

The New York Rangers must start using guys like Daniel Carcillo as screens so that their defencemen’s point shots give Fluery a lot more trouble.

If this adjustment isn’t made, I believe this could end up being a very short series.

For the Pittsburgh Penguins, this victory is exactly what their fanbase fans has been waiting for.

They capitalized on the few chances they had, and were very organized defensively all game long. Sidney Crosby finally scored and Marc Andre Fluery silenced the crowd and got his team a lead in the series.

All is set for Crosby to explode and continue scoring goals for the Penguins now that the first one is out of the way.

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Topics:
NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Playoffs
New York Rangers