NEW YORK — Teddy Blueger scored two goals, Matt Murray made 33 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins surged to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Monday night.
Justin Schultz, Nick Bjugstad and Matt Cullen also scored for Pittsburgh. Phil Kessel and Marcus Pettersson each added two assists.
Murray improved to 6-0-0 against the Rangers in the regular season and 5-0-0 at Madison Square Garden.
Pittsburgh pulled into a tie with the New York Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points. Both teams trail Washington by one point for first.
Brendan Lemieux and Vinni Lettieri scored for the Rangers. Alexandar Georgiev, coming off a 44-save effort in a 2-1 overtime win Saturday night at Toronto, stopped 31 shots.
Trailing 2-1, the Penguins roared back with three goals in the second.
They tied the game 61 seconds into the period on the power play. Sidney Crosby had the puck behind the Rangers net and sent a pass to Schultz, who one-timed it past Georgiev for his second of the season.
Cullen gave the Penguins their first lead when he sent a high shot past Georgiev’s left shoulder at 7:17.
Later in the period, with the Penguins killing a penalty, Blueger skated in on a break and sent a pass to Bryan Rust. The puck deflected behind the net and Rust sent a pass to Blueger, who scored on a backhand for his fifth of the season at 13:12 to make it 4-2.
Blueger added his second of the game at 7:38 of the third. Jared McCann sent a shot at the net and Blueger got enough of the rebound to put it in for his sixth of the season. The goal withstood a replay challenge for offside.
The Rangers, who will miss the playoffs and are playing out the string, got off to a fast start in the opening period.
Mika Zibanejad skated into the zone and sent a pass to Pavel Buchnevich at the left faceoff circle. Buchnevich quickly sent a cross-ice pass to Lemieux, who wristed it past Murray for his 12th of the season at 8:25. The goal was Lemieux’s third with New York since being acquired at the trade deadline from Winnipeg.
The Rangers made it 2-0 on the power play when Lettieri fired a one-timer from the left faceoff circle past Murray at 15:15 for his first goal of the season.
Just 26 seconds later, Bjugstad got the Penguins on the board when he scored his 12th of the season. He got a loose puck and squeezed it through Georgiev’s pads to make it 2-1.
NOTES: Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin remains out with an upper-body injury. He hasn’t played since March 16 against St. Louis. … D Kris Letang missed the game with an upper-body injury. His status is day to day. Zach Trotman replaced him in the lineup. … Rangers forward Jesper Fast will miss the rest of the season because of an injury. D Marc Staal was out with a lower-body injury and forward Chris Kreider is day to day after missing Saturday’s win at Toronto.
Penguins: Host the Nashville Predators on Friday night.
Rangers: At the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
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Simmi Buttar, The Associated Press