Cooke’s Elbow Turns Tide, Pens Lose 5-2

By: Casey Shea

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A major penalty assessed to Matt Cooke proved to be the turning point in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon.

With the score tied 1-1 and the Penguins carrying the majority of the play, Cooke was given a five-minute major for elbowing Ryan McDonagh at 4:36 of the third period.

Cooke was ejected from the game and will likely face additional discipline from the NHL.

The Penguins went to work on the penalty kill and were holding the Rangers off the scoreboard.

About two minutes into the kill, Chris Kunitz broke into the Rangers’ zone and fired a wrist shot over Lundqvist’s blocker to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Just over 90 seconds after the goal, Matt Niskanen caught Ryan Callahan in the face with his stick and was sent to the box for four minutes.

The Penguins were faced with killing 1:46 of a 5-on-3 disadvantage, but the Rangers made them pay.

Marian Gaborik cashed in on a rebound to Fleury’s left at 9:28. Only 11 seconds later, Callahan scored the eventual game-winning goal from a sharp angle.

Pittsburgh had a chance to tie the game late on the power play, but failed to do so. As his penalty expired, McDonagh hopped onto the ice and had a breakaway.

Fleury made two stops on him, but the Penguins couldn’t gather the rebound and Derek Stepan deposited it into the vacant net to put the Rangers up 4-2 at 18:45.

With Fleury on the bench for the extra attacker, Brandon Dubinsky sealed the game with a wrist shot from center ice to cap the scoring in the game.

In the first period, the Rangers struck first.

New York was able to pin the Penguins in their own zone for an extended period of time, before the puck worked its way behind the goal line to Fleury’s left.

Callahan fed a pass into the slot through Zbynek Michalek’s legs that Artem Anisimov one-timed through Fleury’s legs at 11:20.

Almost five minutes later, Jordan Staal answered for the Penguins.

James Neal sprung Staal for a mini-breakaway. Staal gave Lundqvist a quick shoulder fake and blew the puck between his arm and body to tie the game at 1-1.

No goals were scored in the second period. However, the Penguins dominated the period, outshooting the Rangers 19-7. After two periods, the Penguins held a 29-14 advantage in shots, but Lundqvist stood tall. They outshot New York 40-26 for the game.

The Penguins will now head to Detroit to take on the Red Wings Monday night at 7:30 p.m.


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  • rambo

    i think cookie time is up with the pens..he is one of my favorite players but what he did today was uncalled for…it was f@#ken LOW!

  • DC

    Pittsburgh has the dirtiest players… Matt Cooke, Hienz Ward, James Harrison. If that was against Your teams You would be calling for the guy to be suspended forever! The Pens have the most fighting majors. What does Mario have to say about that??? Matt Cooke has always been dirty, go back & look at his days with Vancouver

    • Anvil

      DC, you have no room to talk with that Chernobyl radiation-riddled idiot on your team.

      I’m also going to guess that you are a fan of the Baltimorons, who have a murderer as one of their leaders.

    • rambo

      you dc, you got alex the about dirty!…if you did read my comment i said its time for him to go…i bet any other fan will say that, im personally tired of cookie

  • Shea-ved Ice: Cooke Crosses The Line (Again) « CBS Pittsburgh

    […] After a Chris Kunitz shorthanded goal, Matt Niskanen was sent off for a four-minute double-minor for high sticking. The Rangers had 1:46 of 5-on-3 to deal with and scored twice to take two points back to Broadway. […]

  • Mike

    I’m a die hard pens fan. It’s time for Matt to go. He is a true disgrace to our team. I’ve tried to defend him but he is……… A dirty player.

  • Lou B

    Cookie gave my kid a puck during warm ups , also he is my kids favorite player with that said cooke has to go , I like the guy but he is just plain dumb and I still think his hit on savard last year was uncalled for , like I said my kid loves cooke and for no reason he flips my kid a puck but on the ice he does not respect his opponents , nothing wrong with a good clean hit but he crosses the line and if Mario wants any credibility with his new rules he proposed he cannot employ cooke

  • Anvil

    What I find ironic is that the Penguiins, who are lobbying to have headshots removed from the game, or at least better enforced, are penalized for it in today’s game.
    What I don’t understand is that rule #48, which came about after Cooke’s hit on Savard last year, is not unilaterally enforced in the league, but rather seems to be a ploy just to target Cooke. Why wasn’t that rule applied to Steckel when he hit Crosby in the Winter Classic? Or Hedman in the following game?
    This “rule” and now harsher enforcement (AFTER Sid’s encounter) seem to be targeted against the Pens, especially for having Cooke on their team. This example is eerily similar to the whole incident with James Harrison being targeted and fined for his hits after the Cleveland game.
    If rules like this are made, they need to be enforced on every player on every applicable situation, not just on certain players who may have a penchant for aggressive play. If they not enforced equally, then it’s just propaganda, and even a bargaining chip of sorts.

  • Jim Felix

    I totally agree… Cooke’s hit was totally uncalled for and he again cost this team… As for DC, You have Ovehtrickster, who not only is a dirty player, but he also has been playing for years with an illegal stick curve…

  • Tony

    I am a huge Pens fan, but Cooke’s time here has passed. Totally unnecessary and he should be fined and suspended. I really thought he would have been traded prior to the deadline.

  • Cooke To Face Disciplinary Hearing « CBS Pittsburgh

    […] Cooke’s Elbow Turns Tide, Pens Lose 5-2 Shea-ved Ice: Cooke Crosses The Line (Again) More Penguins News […]

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