Final score: Penguins 3, Rangers 0.
Why it matters: Marc-Andre Fleury set the franchise record for shutouts with his 23rd as the Penguins stretched their winning streak to eight games and moved back into sole possession – pending the outcome of Montreal's game in New Jersey Saturday night – of first place in the Eastern Conference.
In a nutshell: Beau Bennett gave Fleury the only goal he would need when he beat New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist from near the right dot 90 seconds into the game. Tyler Kennedy scored on a power play at 6:34 of the third and Pascal Dupuis sealed the victory with his 14th 34 seconds later.
Turning point: Bennett's goal gave the Penguins momentum that carried them through the opening period, when some sensational stops by Lundqvist were all that kept New York in the game.
Under the radar: The Penguins' penalty-killing, so widely (and justifiably) criticized for much of the season, had another solid showing, thwarted New York on both of its chances with the extra man. The Penguins have given up one goal in 10 shorthanded situations during the past four games.
Worth noting: The Penguins have won seven consecutive games against the Rangers, matching their longest winning streak ever against New York. All three of the victories this season have been by three goals, with the past two being shutouts. ... Evgeni Malkin sat out his fourth consecutive game because of an unspecified injury. The Penguins are 41-26-6 in the 72 games he has missed since entering the NHL. ... The Penguins, obviously, did not trail at any point in the game, just the 12th time that has happened in their 21 victories. ... Sidney Crosby failed to record a point for the first time in his past 17 games against New York. ... ... The Penguins have scored first in nine consecutive games against the Rangers.
The brightest star: Fleury wasn't tested all that often or severely, but still earned a spot in the team's record book by rejecting all 23 shots New York tossed at him. It was his first shutout since holding the Rangers scoreless Feb. 21, 2012.
The last word: Right winger Craig Adams, on the Penguins' strong third-period play of late: "We're starting to find a rhythm, a little bit of an identity, in terms of all facets of the game. The way we're playing right now, we're limiting teams, limiting their chances. We're keeping the shots down, we're keeping the chances down. We're better in our end, and we're playing a lot in their end. It's a work-in-progress, but I feel like the last five or six games, you can really see it starting to take shape."
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