The Penguins' Dynamic Duo at center, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, were held without a point Thursday night.
Crosby played 19:11 and had one shot on goal and two that missed the net. Malkin had two shots and three attempts blocked.
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"You want to try and outnumber them as much as you can," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "I wouldn't say there was any specific matchup I was looking for, but I was looking for numbers and pace. I think that's the best way to counter them."
Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Derick Brassard's goal at 28 seconds "gave them momentum . . . the crowd, the surge and those [four] penalties . . . took a lot of momentum away from our team. In the second and third, we certainly got better."
Mats Zuccarello and Dan Girardi had the secondary assists on the two goals . . . The Rangers have won 17 of the last 26 playoff games at home and are 29-11-1 in Game 1s at Madison Square Garden . . . Derek Stepan, who led the Rangers with six shots, liked the play of the fourth line. Tanner Glass, Dom Moore and Jesper Fast totaled nine hits and had a couple of scoring opportunities off the cycle, especially Moore's at the doorstep on a pass from the left boards by Fast . . . Dan Boyle struggled at times on defense. He was charged with two giveaways -- he slammed his stick on the glass after one of them -- and was on the ice for Blake Comeau's goal . . . The Rangers had to kill only one power play, on Rick Nash's boarding call in the second.