Mark Recchi scores twice to lead Penguins to 3-1 win over Rangers

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Mark Recchi scored two goals, and the Penguins' defence shut down Jagr and the New York Rangers with a 3-1 victory Saturday night.

Jagr, one goal away from 600 in the NHL, often looked frustrated and lethargic and was booed with each touch of the puck. He was limited to three shots and one quality scoring chance.

"Jagr's one of the top players in the world, and you can't give him time or space," Recchi said. "We did a terrific job of not letting him get to the middle of the ice. Our defence had really good pressure on him, and that's really important when you play these guys."

Recchi's goals doubled his season total, 18-year-old rookie Jordan Staal scored his seventh, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves. But that was overshadowed by the defensive work of Sergei Gonchar and Josef Melichar, who were matched against Jagr on nearly every shift.

"They did a really great job," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.

New York was held to 11 shots through the first two periods, 24 overall.

"They're dangerous, and not just Jagr, so we knew we'd have to stay disciplined," Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said. "You've got a much better chance of success if you concentrate on your own end, and that's what we tried to do."

Pittsburgh was 1-4-2 in its previous seven games but improved to 9-7-2 overall. They didn't record their ninth victory last season until Dec. 29, in their 36th game.

The Rangers, who have lost three of four, blamed a lack of discipline in giving Pittsburgh 11 power plays, including a pair of 5-on-3 advantages that resulted in goals.

"You can't score with your best guys on the bench," left winger Brendan Shanahan said. "That's why you need to avoid those breakdowns."

"We were fine except that we were taking a lot of penalties," Jagr said. "That's not the way to play the game."

New York coach Tom Renney criticized his team's effort, particularly a first period in which the Rangers were outshot 11-4.

"The start to the game went all wrong," Renney said. "I guess we thought that this team would fold and give us everything that we wanted without us having to work for it. That wasn't the case."

Jagr, who scored his first goal at the Igloo on Oct. 7, 1990, when he was a rookie with Pittsburgh, tallied 439 in 11 seasons with the Penguins.

"I don't really care about any of that," Jagr said of not scoring No. 600 in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh's first 5-on-3 goal came 14:42 in when Staal poked Evgeni Malkin's rebound past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Malkin put the puck on net quickly after Sergei Gonchar's errant point shot ricocheted off the end boards.

Jagr had the best chance during a scoreless second period. His wrist shot from the right dot caromed off Penguins defenceman Rob Scuderi and floated toward the vacated net before bouncing off the top.

The Rangers were charged with the first three penalties of the third period, the last two created another two-man advantage and another goal for Pittsburgh.

The Penguins were 5-for-50 on the power play in the previous 10 games, so no one complained that they needed two extra men to go 2-for-11 on Saturday.

"Those 5-on-3s don't come along too often," Recchi said. "They can be difference-makers."

Shanahan put New York on the board at 10:31 with a low shot from the right dot that sneaked through Fleury's legs.

But Recchi answered at 14:55, taking advantage of a 2-on-1 break by rapping Sidney Crosby's goalmouth feed behind Lundqvist to make it 3-1.

Notes: Recchi needs 12 goals for 500. ... Pittsburgh promoted RW Ronald Petrovicky from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. He made his season debut after missing 18 games because of hip surgery. ... To make room for Petrovicky, LW John LeClair was a healthy scratch. He has one goal and five assists. ... The crowd of 16,737 was 300 shy of capacity. The Penguins have sold out only two of 10 home games.