- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault finally took a shot at his club’s taxing postseason schedule, but still won’t say his players are tired.

Judging by their effort in their latest loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, he might be right.

The Rangers pressed the pace and widely outshot the talented Penguins, but New York came out on the short end of a 2-0 decision on Monday - their second shutout defeat in two nights.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots one night after making 22 saves at home in a 3-0 Game 2 victory that tied the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Penguins now own a 2-1 lead, have knocked the Rangers back on their heels, and have reclaimed home-ice advantage.

“Back to back nights is not easy,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who gave his club a 1-0 lead with his first goal of these playoffs. “We believe in (Fleury), and with every game, we see him get more and more comfortable. That’s contagious.”

It is the first time the Rangers have been shut out in consecutive playoff games since the 1937 Stanley Cup finals against Detroit.

New York finished its first-round win over Philadelphia with three games in four days - including Games 6 and 7 on consecutive nights - and started this series with three in four again.

“We tried real hard. We were forced to play a stupid schedule - five games in seven nights,” Vigneault said. “I am real proud of how our guys handled it.

“We put our best foot forward in each and every game. Now we’ve got a full day to recover (Tuesday), and we’re going to get right back at it on Wednesday.”

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has said he wants his team to take advantage of the busy Rangers, but doesn’t believe New York has been worn down.

“I didn’t see a tired Rangers team at all,” he said. “It’s a lot of hockey games, but that’s the schedule. I would much rather be playing in a 10-day period than stretch it out.”

Crosby snapped a 13-game playoff drought with his second-period goal, and Jussi Jokinen also scored. Both goals came right after Pittsburgh killed penalties.

“The main thing is that you get chances and that you are out there creating things, making it tough on them,” Crosby said. “That’s the first step. Eventually you trust that it will go in.”

The Penguins made the most of 15 shots, including just one in the third period.

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