Crosby lifts Pens to win in OT

AP Sidney Crosby celebrates his game-winning goal while Phil Kessel raises his arms in victory.

NEW YORK (AP) – Sidney Crosby scored on a deflection at 4:30 of overtime and the surging Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 Sunday night in a potential first-round playoff preview.

Matt Cullen and Phil Kessel also scored for the Penguins, who have won eight of nine. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves.

Eric Staal scored twice for New York, which had won three straight. Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast assisted on both of Staal’s goals. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots.

Derick Brassard was called for high-sticking with 1.4 seconds left in regulation to give Pittsburgh a power play in the extra period. But the Rangers killed it off before Kris Letang’s wrist shot from the point ricocheted in off Crosby in front.

Staal entered with one goal in 13 games with the Rangers since joining the team at the trade deadline in a deal with Carolina. It was his second multigoal game of the season.

The Rangers took advantage of a Penguins turnover to take a 2-1 lead early in the second period. Staal took a pass from Fast and sent a loose puck past Fleury at the right faceoff circle at 2:07.

The Penguins tied it again when Carl Hagelin used his speed to chase down a loose puck and put a shot on Lundqvist. Kessel backhanded in the rebound for his 23rd goal of the season at 8:36.

Kessel, who had a goal and four assists in Saturday’s win over Detroit, sent a shot off the crossbar a couple of minutes later.

The Rangers opened the scoring in the first period.

Hayes took the puck up the left side and sent a pass in front to Staal, who fended off defenseman Trevor Daley and deflected the puck past Fleury at 4:19.

The Penguins tied it late in the period.

Derrick Pouliot took a pass from Daley at the left faceoff circle and shot from the point. Cullen tipped the rebound past Lundqvist at 15:49. It was Cullen’s 13th goal of the season.


Alain Vigneault has 141 regular-season wins as Rangers coach. He is one away from passing Roger Neilson for sixth place on the franchise list. … Nine different Rangers have at least one goal over the past four games (Derick Brassard, Tanner Glass, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Eric Staal, Viktor Stalberg, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello). … Chris Kunitz, who left Saturday’s win after taking a hit from Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, was in the starting lineup for the Penguins. … G Jeff Zatkoff, defensemen Olli Maatta and Brian Dumoulin and center Oskar Sundqvist were scratched for the Penguins. C Oscar Lindberg and D Dylan McIlrath (knee injury) were scratched for the Rangers.