NEW YORK (AP) - It's taken three alternate captains to fill the leadership void on the New York Rangers since Mark Messier retired.
Jaromir Jagr is one of them and is perfectly content to let his stick lead the Rangers toward a long-awaited playoff appearance.
"I'm happy with the A," Jagr said after his overtime goal gave New York a 5-4 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Jagr snapped a shot past Edmonton goalie Jussi Markkanen just 14 seconds into the extra session to cap off the night when the Rangers celebrated Messier's career by raising his number 11 to the Madison Square Garden rafters.
Jagr took a pass from Michael Rozsival in the right circle, corralled the puck and slammed in his 28th of the season.
"It was very special for me," said Jagr, who leads the NHL with 67 points. "I had so much time to look around and put the puck where I wanted to."
The game started after both teams sat on their benches throughout the 1-hour, 15-minute, number retirement ceremony in honor of Messier.
"It wasn't easy, but for the fans it was great," Jagr said.
Messier, a 25-year NHL veteran, left the game in September and had his number retired alongside those of former teammate Mike Richter, and Hall of Famers Eddie Giacomin and Rod Gilbert.
Steve Rucchin, Fedor Tyutin, Petr Sykora and Petr Prucha had the other New York goals. The Rangers moved within five points of first-place Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division as they strive to reach the postseason for the first time since 1997.
Michael Peca scored twice, and Ales Hemsky and Marc-Andre Bergeron added goals for the Oilers, who held a 30-22 shots advantage.
Peca tied it when he crashed into goalie Henrik Lundqvist with 12:30 remaining in regulation and posted his first two-goal game since being traded to Edmonton in the offseason. The former New York Islanders captain, greeted by boos, has only seven goals all season and had gone seven games without one.
That briefly negated the joy the home crowd felt when Prucha gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead 5:26 earlier with the 21st of his rookie season.
Rucchin provided the Rangers with a 1-0 lead that they carried into the second period, but it didn't last long.
Peca tied it with a power-play goal at 2:22 with the teams skating 4-on-3. After Jagr was sent off for hooking at 23 seconds, New York's Martin Straka was caught with an illegal stick.
The second-period flurry continued with constant penalties and scoring bursts from each side.
Hemsky netted his short-handed goal just seconds after he served a hooking infraction. Upon exiting the box, Shawn Horcoff found him with a long, lead pass near the New York blue line and Hemsky did the rest. He was stopped in front by Henrik Lundqvist, but calmly controlled the puck and lifted a shot under the crossbar at 8:31.
Bergeron stretched the Oilers' lead to 3-1 just 2:16 later and it looked as though the Rangers' five-game homestand would end on a sour note.
The period that featured 10 minor penalties - six by Edmonton - and five goals ended with two Rangers' tallies in the closing minutes.
"We had too many penalties, especially in the first two periods," Peca said.
Tyutin creeped in from the blue line to the slot and took a pass from Straka, who shook off two Oilers behind the net to get free with 3:31 left. The power-play goal made it 3-2.
"When you try to kill penalties over and over against a great power play, it's going to catch up to you," Peca said.
New York needed only 2:04 more to tie it when Prucha's shot bounced off a player from each team in front and caromed to Sykora in the left circle. He needed merely a moment to fire in his ninth of the season and second in two games since being traded to the Rangers by Anaheim last Sunday.
Sykora had a goal and assist in his debut on Tuesday, a 4-2 win over Calgary.
New York finished with three straight wins on the homestand after opening it with two consecutive overtime losses.
"We didn't start very well," Jagr said. "Since then we have been playing pretty good."
Notes: The Rangers are 2-2 when they retire a jersey number. New York beat the Minnesota North Stars in 1977 on Gilbert (No. 7) night, lost to Winnipeg when Giacomin's number 1 was raised in 1989, and were beaten by the Minnesota Wild in 2004 when Richter 35 went up. ... Michael Nylander's assist on Rucchin's goal was his 21st against Edmonton, his most versus any team. ... It was Peca's first multipoint game this season.
|Steve Rucchin (9) ASST: Petr Sykora (15), Michael Nylander (30)|
1 - 0 NYR
|PPG - Michael Peca (6) ASST: Jarret Stoll (27), Ryan Smyth (18)|
1 - 1 Tie
|SHG - Ales Hemsky (12) ASST: Shawn Horcoff (32)|
2 - 1 EDM
|PPG - Marc-Andre Bergeron (9) ASST: Jarret Stoll (28), Ales Hemsky (32)|
3 - 1 EDM
|PPG - Fedor Tyutin (4) ASST: Martin Straka (36), Jaromir Jagr (39)|
3 - 2 EDM
|Petr Sykora (9) ASST: Steve Rucchin (10), Petr Prucha (6)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Petr Prucha (21) ASST: Martin Rucinsky (20)|
4 - 3 NYR
|SHG - Michael Peca (7) ASST: Ethan Moreau (15)|
4 - 4 Tie
|Jaromir Jagr (28) ASST: Michal Rozsival (11)|
5 - 4 NYR
|Ville Nieminen Tripping against Jarret Stoll|
|Chris Pronger Elbowing against Ville Nieminen|
|Matt Greene Roughing against Petr Prucha|
|Marek Malik Holding|
|Raffi Torres Clipping against Darius Kasparaitis|
|Shawn Horcoff Boarding against Jason Strudwick|
|Jaromir Jagr Hooking against Chris Pronger|
|Martin Straka Illegal stick|
|Jarret Stoll Holding against Jaromir Jagr|
|Ales Hemsky Hooking against Marek Malik|
|Chris Pronger Closing hand on puck|
|Darius Kasparaitis Hooking against Ales Hemsky|
|Jason Ward Interference on goalkeeper against Jussi Markkanen|
|Jason Smith Interference against Dominic Moore|
|Michael Peca Hooking against Ville Nieminen|
|Fernando Pisani Interference against Jason Ward|
|Todd Harvey Interference against Jed Ortmeyer|