Penguins capitalize on overturned shootout goal to top Rangers
Marc-Andre Fleury sat at his locker stall, helmet and jersey removed, hoping for a chance.
Fleury improbably got one when referees reversed a call on Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle’s shootout goal after a lengthy delay in which both teams thought the game was over.
The Penguins cashed in Saturday at Consol Energy Center as Brandon Sutter scored and Fleury stopped Rick Nash to produce a 3-2 win.
“I was happy,” Fleury said. “I could have been undressed. I’ll get dressed to get there. I was happy to have a second chance at it.”
Fleury stopped 29 of 31 shots to record career win No. 298, but nothing about Saturday’s victory was like the previous 297.
Coaches and team personnel had taken the elevator down from the press box assuming Boyle scored and the game was over. Fans left. Players such as Fleury started getting changed.
Mike Johnston and the rest of the Penguins coaching staff shook their heads while watching a replay in the dressing room.
None had seen anything like this.
“No, no clue, no clue,” Fleury insisted.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Johnston said.
“Kind of a weird one,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “Pretty cool to find a way to pull that out.”
And it gave the Penguins wins in six of their past seven regular-season games against the Rangers at Consol Energy Center.
It also avenged a 5-0 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden and evened the season series at one apiece.
Boyle’s goal was negated after referees ruled he put the puck in after it hit the post and came back to his stick.
According to NHL Rule 24.2, “No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind.”
“Most of the players didn’t know it as they were entering the room,” Johnston said. “Sutter knew he was next. … So he was ready. For Fleury, I give him credit. He had to come in after thinking he has lost the game, and he has to rebound. That’s tough to do. He had to stop one of the best shooters in the league.”
Crosby had a chance to win the game early in overtime with a clear breakaway, but Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist turned his attempt aside. Dan Girardi, who was helped off the ice after a hit from Evgeni Malkin, returned midway through overtime.
Overtime didn’t lack excitement, either, as Rob Scuderi tripped Chris Kreider, and the Penguins had to kill a 4-on-3 Rangers advantage.
Which Fleury helped kill by throwing his stick at the puck, as only he would do.
Lundqvist saved his best work for the final seconds of overtime, when Sutter sprung Kris Letang and Lundqvist snatched Letang’s attempt out of the air with 4.8 seconds left.
Blake Comeau and Malkin scored early goals for the Penguins. Lee Stempniak and Martin St. Louis tallied for the Rangers.
Crosby displayed a bit of frustration in the second period when he tried to go 1-on-3 — even from his knees — and no penalty was called. Crosby skated into the corner and whacked his stick off the glass.