Jussi Jokinen certainly knows how to make an entrance.
The newly acquired Pittsburgh forward scored a goal in regulation in his debut and then added the only tally in the shootout as the Penguins edged the New York Rangers 2-1 on Friday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots and then stoned Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Callahan in the shootout as Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak following a 15-game winning run.
Fleury was at the top of his game just two nights after he allowed all the goals in the Rangers’ 6-1 home victory over the Penguins.
Jokinen, acquired in a trade with Carolina just before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, beat Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist shot 32 seconds into the third period.
Nash’s 14th goal tied it with 4:49 remaining, but the Rangers couldn’t complete the sweep of the home-and-home series.
Lundqvist made 26 saves through overtime in his 500th NHL game but watched Jokinen flip the puck over his right arm in the first round of the shootout.
The Rangers, clinging to eighth place in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race, sent Pittsburgh to its worst loss of the season on Wednesday. New York was led then by newcomers Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard and John Moore, who combined for eight points in their first game with New York after being picked up just hours earlier at the trade deadline.
There were no such offensive fireworks this time.
Instead, Lundqvist and Fleury dominated. While Lundqvist was typically efficient behind a New York defense that rarely let the Penguins get in deep, Fleury was busier as Pittsburgh — missing injured top defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin — had trouble keeping the Rangers from creating heavy traffic in front.
At one point in the second period, Fleury’s glove came off during a scramble. It slid behind the net as play continued in front of the Pittsburgh net. Fleury went down into his usual butterfly stance and flexed his bare hand when the Rangers managed to squeeze off a shot.
Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland blocked it while lying on the ice, and a linesman handed the glove back to Fleury as the Penguins raced the other way.
Jokinen gave the Penguins the lead when he skated to open space as Chris Kunitz controlled the puck behind the New York net. The shot was perfect, and Pittsburgh took its first lead in nearly a week.
The way Fleury was playing, it looked as though it would be enough.
Jokinen’s goal appeared to fire up the Rangers, who tilted the ice over the next five minutes. During one sequence, Nash fed Ryan Callahan, who spun around as he drove to the left post and sent a perfect no-look backhand pass across the crease to a hard-charging Derek Stepan.
Fleury jumped to his left, and the puck somehow went right into the webbing of his glove.
Fleury’s best stop came with 5 minutes to go when he lost his balance and fell on his backside as Brassard threw a shot from behind the net at Fleury’s legs. Fleury somehow managed to close his pads and keep the puck an inch short of the goal line even as Nash jabbed at it.
The save was upheld by video review, but Nash netted the tying goal off the ensuing faceoff. Stepan won the draw in the left circle and sent the puck right to Nash, who beat Fleury cleanly to send the very chippy game into overtime.
NOTES: The Rangers scratched D Roman Hamrlik and Matt Gilroy as well as F J.T. Miller. ... In addition to Crosby, the Penguins scratched forwards Dustin Jeffrey and Joe Vitale, and D Simon Despres. ... New York will play at Carolina on Saturday. ... The Penguins are off until Tuesday, when they travel to face the Carolina Hurricanes.
Jussi Jokinen certainly knows how to make an entrance.
Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati
The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.
Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS
Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.
Falcons set for spring game
Football is back … well, kind of.
Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.
HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age
The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
“There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”
Hillberry commits to Wesleyan
Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.
O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall
Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.
North, East softball earn blowout wins
The North Marion softball team was at it again Wednesday night.
Mattie Polling tripled and singled, starting pitcher Chelsi Latocha doubled and gave up just one hit as the Huskies rolled to another 3-inning mercy-rule victory over Lewis County, 18-1.
Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2
Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.
Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus
Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS
They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.
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