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June 24, 2017

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Penguins, Blackhawks win in playoffs

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Letang broke a scoreless deadlock in the second period and Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves for his seventh playoff shutout to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers, leveling the second-round series one game each.

In Sunday's other game, Bryan Bickell had a goal and two assists as the Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Letang's 15th career postseason goal matched Larry Murphy's record for Penguins defensemen. Jussi Jokinen scored during a third-period power play, and Evgeni Malkin added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who managed a home split in the first two games with the suddenly weary Rangers.

Game 3 is Monday night in New York.

Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves for New York, but the Rangers mustered little offense while playing their fourth game in six days. New York's limp power play went 0 for 4 and hasn't scored in 29 straight advantages.

The Rangers have lost eight straight Game 2s and have dropped an NHL-record 13 consecutive games when leading in a series.

At Chicago, Brandon Saad scored his first two goals of the postseason as the Blackhawks earned their sixth consecutive win despite stretches of lackluster play in the second and third periods. Corey Crawford made 18 saves in another solid performance.

Cody McCormick scored his second career playoff goal, but Minnesota missed another chance to steal home-ice advantage from the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Jonathan Toews scored his fourth goal of the playoffs in the first period for the Blackhawks, who improved to 16-2 in home postseason games over the last two years. They are 5-0 at home in these playoffs.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Minnesota.

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