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Bylsma insisted early Sunday that he anticipated seeing Crosby at his “best” with the season possibly at stake. Though Crosby failed to score, it was the only thing he didn’t do. For the first time in weeks, he looked like himself.

Relentless at both ends of the ice, the jump in his game that was missing at times during a listless performance in Game 1 returned.

“To see Sid play like that tonight was really inspiring for everybody in our dressing room,” Letang said. “He was really dangerous.”

Crosby finished with a game-high six shots. During one stretch at the end of the first period he produced a pair of scoring opportunities, including a nifty deke around two defenders, before he ripped a wrist shot that just missed the net.

Each time Crosby appeared poised to end the drought, Lundqvist found a way to get a piece of the puck. He made a sprawling leg save on a tip-in attempt by Crosby, though Lundqvist wasn’t so fortunate the next time the Penguins came at him.

Chris Kunitz began a breakout by feeding Malkin at the New York blue line. Malkin slipped the puck over to Letang, who flipped it toward the net. Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi dived headfirst to block the attempted pass to Kunitz, but the puck deflected off Girardi’s stick and past a surprised Lundqvist to give Pittsburgh the lead.

“They just spent a lot of time in our own end,” Lundqvist said. “That was the biggest difference.”

Fleury had little problem letting the one-goal advantage stand up. The Rangers rarely challenged him over the final 30 minutes, and Jokinen and Malkin removed any remaining drama by scoring twice in the last 5 minutes.

Jokinen banged in a rebound off a shot by James Neal for his fourth goal of the playoffs with 3:30 remaining. Malkin beat two Rangers to tap in an empty-net goal with 54 seconds left as the Penguins exhaled.

“Now the series is tied 1-1, and two games in their building,” Jokinen said. “I’m sure they’re going to be better. We need to keep playing the way we’re playing.”

NOTES: Lundqvist made his 75th career playoff appearance. He will tie Mike Richter’s club record for games played if he starts, as expected, on Monday night. … Pittsburgh D Brooks Orpik missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury. … The Penguins are 2-6 in their last eight Game 2s.

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Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP