New York scored three times less than 15 minutes into the first period and went on to blank the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 on Tuesday night.
With the loss, the Penguins seven-game win streak is over. Pittsburgh had not lost in regulation in 10 games. With the win, the Rangers avoided losing their third straight.
Mats Zuccarello, Martin St. Louis and Kevin Klein scored first period goals for New York. Penguins coach Mike Johnston called a timeout following St. Louis’ fifth of the season, but could not right the ship.
Derick Brassard added his sixth of the season in the third and Rick Nash scored his league-leading 12th of the season in the third.
“We weren’t ready to compete,” Sidney Crosby said post-game. “That’s really what it came down to.
“We got outworked. It’s not fun having to say that after games. You know you don’t want to be able to say that, but we got outplayed.”
The lone bright spot for the Penguins is defenseman Kris Letang returned to the game in the second period after suffering an undisclosed injury at 11:45 of the first.
Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves for his 53rd career shutout and third against the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots in the loss.
“It’s from the coaches to the players,” Johnston said. “We had to be a lot better prepared in the first 10 minutes than we were.”
The Penguins and Rangers meet again Saturday when New York travels to Pittsburgh.