WHAT IT MEANS: The Rangers continued their divisional dominance with a 3-1 victory over the Penguins on Friday night in Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts (26-9-4, NHL-high 56 points) have now won four in a row, nine of their last 10 and improved to 9-1-0 against Atlantic Division rivals this season.
THANKS HANK! Goaltender Henrik Lundqivst made 37 saves to record his sixth straight victory (18-7-4). Lundqivst's night was highlighted by a pair of glove saves on Chris Kunitz and James Neal in the second period.
HE'S BACK: Brandon Dubinsky has rediscovered his scoring touch. The second-line left winger scored for the fourth time in his last eight games, 3:09 into the second period to put the Rangers ahead 2-1. It was the Rangers' sixth short-hander this season, and Dubinsky's 200th point in the NHL. Dubinsky, who had an assist on the team's first goal, had to leave the game briefly in the opening frame after he was struck in the foot while blocking a shot.
UGLY START: The Rangers did not have any jump from the drop of the puck. It took them 8 minutes and 52 seconds to record their first shot. The Penguins took a 1-0 lead on third-pair defenseman Ben Lovejoy's first of the season 5:43 in, prompting coach John Tortorella to use a timeout and blast his team. The Penguins recorded 11 of the first 12 shots, but the Rangers found their legs late in the frame and Brad Richards tied the game at 1 with his 15th of the season at 18:17. Richards has a four-game point scoring streak.
STAAL REPORT: Playing in a back-to-back for the first time this season, defenseman Marc Staal was a minus-one rating in 15:00 of ice-time and also took two minor penalties. His brother Jordan was helped off the ice after he went knee on knee with Mike Rupp with 4:45 left in the third.
TOP PAIR: Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi were a combined plus-six with two assists.
FREEBE: Marc-Andre Fleury came way out of his goal, failed to clear the puck and somehow it ended up on Derek Stepan's tape and he buried his ninth 1:20 into the third to put the Rangers ahead by two.
CAPTAIN CONSECUTIVE: By assisting on Dubinsky's goal, Ryan Callahan extended his point scoring streak to seven games.
WAIVE IT OFF: Kunitz's goal at 8:59 of the third was negated by the officials because Neal made contact with Lundqivst in the crease before Kunitz scored.
ALL-STAR STATUS: Tortorella clinched a spot behind one of the All-Star benches on Jan. 29 in Ottawa because the Rangers are guaranteed to have the best points percentage through the halfway point of the season.
UP NEXT: Rangers vs. Coyotes, 7 p.m. Tuesday.