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Crosby, Penguins score five goals in second, take 3-1 series lead on Rangers

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Crosby, Penguins score five goals in second, take 3-1 series lead on Rangers
New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (L) flies over the back of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in the first period of a playoff series Monday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

May 10 (UPI) -- Sidney Crosby logged a goal and two assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins scored five times in the second period to spark a 7-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.

The decisive victory Monday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh gave the Penguins a 3-1 series lead. They need just one more win in the series to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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"When you are in a game like this, you know you are going to see the other team's best the next time," Crosby told reporters. "They are a good hockey team. We've definitely got an opportunity, but know it's going to be a big challenge going to New York."

Penguins left wing Jake Guentzel logged a goal and an assist in the victory. Defenseman Kris Letang chipped in two assists. Left wing Danton Heinen, centers Jeff Carter and Evgeni Malkin, and defensemen Mike Matheson and Mark Friedman also scored for the Penguins.

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The Rangers benched star goaltender Igor Shesterkin at the end of the second period. He allowed six goals and made 24 saves. Penguins net minder Louis Domingue made 22 saves.

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Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere drew first blood just 2:06 into the first period. Crosby tied the score about nine minutes later. Guentzel and Letang assisted that score and Crosby cleaned up a rebound at the right post for it.

Matheson sparked the scoring surge when he scored off a Crosby assist 3:14 into the second. Guentzel scored off another Crosby feed just 24 seconds later. Friedman then gave the Penguins a 4-1 lead 11:22 into the bridge period.

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Defenseman Adam Fox lit the lamp for the Rangers to cut the deficit in half with 5:54 remaining in the second.

Heinen added a fifth Penguins goal 4:49 later. Carter made the score 6-2 with another score 32 seconds before the third period.

Malkin capped off the scoring 12:22 into the third.

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The Penguins face the Rangers in Game 5 in the best-of-seven game series at 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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