PITTSBURGH (AP) - Michal Rozsival finally found the net, yet he couldn't celebrate - it was the wrong one. No doubt that made the New York Rangers defenseman's winning goal, scored for the right team, feel that much better.
Petr Prucha scored twice before Rozsival got the decisive goal late in the third period, and the Rangers ran the Penguins' losing streak to eight games with a 4-2 victory Thursday night.
Rozsival, a former Penguins defenseman who came into the game with 13 points in 46 games, had a goal and an assist as the Rangers won following consecutive 4-3 losses in Detroit and Columbus.
Rozsival's second goal of the season came on a slap shot from the right circle off Prucha's cross-ice pass to break a 2-all tie with 4:12 remaining. Michael Nylander scored his 11th goal exactly a minute later.
In a game in which all but one goal came in the third period, Rozsival had accidentally tied it at 1 earlier in the period when he tried to clear the puck from above his own net but accidentally batted it in with his right glove. The goal was credited to Dick Tarnstrom.
``It was nice to score the game-winner after I tied the game up by putting it in my own net,'' Rozsival said. ``And I put it in my net. I slam dunked it.''
Of his decisive goal, Rozsival said, ``That one was a 3-pointer instead of a slam dunk.''
Prucha, a rookie who began the season in the minors and lacked the buildup of Sidney Crosby but has as many goals as the Penguins star, scored his 22nd and 23rd goals and assisted on Rozsival's winner. Prucha trails only Washington's Alexander Ovechkin and Colorado's Marek Svatos in rookie goal scoring and is tied with Crosby.
``All that's important for me is that we win,'' said Prucha, a healthy scratch for two games early in the season. ``I don't want to be compared to Ovechkin and Crosby because they are awesome.''
Crosby tied it at 2 with a one-timer off Colby Armstrong's pass from behind the net that may have deflected off the Rangers' Jason Strudwick midway through the third period, the Penguins' second power-play goal.
Crosby also found the net again not long after, but not the way he wanted.
Pulled off his skates, he tumbled into the net just before Tomas Surovy put a rebound of his own miss past goalie Henrik Lundqvist. But the apparent go-ahead goal was waved off and Crosby was called for goaltender interference.
``After the shot he was behind me, but just before the shot he was interfering with me,'' Lundqvist said. ``I couldn't move. I thought it was a good call.''
Crosby didn't, saying, ``I landed in there, but I didn't obstruct the goalie. Their d-man pushed me and I tried to stop and my foot clipped his (Lundqvist's) and I went in. ... But if you look at it, he's in better position than he was before.''
Crosby scored for the second consecutive game after being held without a goal in the first six games of the Penguins' second-longest losing streak this season. They lost their first nine games, but got points in five games. All eight of these losses have been in regulation.
``We deserved better,'' coach Michel Therrien said. ``We played a really good game. We didn't give up many chances and we killed a 5-on-3. We've had a lot of adversity, but we're learning.''
Prucha made it 1-0 in the first period by grabbing Petr Sykora's pass to the slot and backhanding a shot off the right arm of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who couldn't prevent the puck from trickling across the goal line.
Prucha scored again in the third as Jaromir Jagr carried the puck around the net before throwing it in front, and Prucha backhanded it in as most of the Penguins on the ice were preoccupied with Jagr.
Lundqvist made 28 saves during another strong game to improve to 18-6-5.
Notes: Two of the biggest cheers occurred when Steelers WR Hines Ward and K Jeff Reed were shown on the video board. ... The Penguins are 3-10-3 since Therrien was hired in mid-December. Their 11 victories are the second fewest in the NHL to St. Louis' 10. ... Pittsburgh is 1-19-3 when trailing after one period. ... Jagr has four goals and three assists in four games against Pittsburgh, his former team. ... Pittsburgh played its first game since its second leading scorer, Ziggy Palffy, abruptly retired Wednesday because of shoulder problems. Earlier in the day, owner-player Mario Lemieux announced the team was for sale again. He called off an earlier sale last fall. ... Jagr has not been held without a point in consecutive games.
|Petr Prucha (22) ASST: Petr Sykora (16), Michal Rozsival (13)|
1 - 0 NYR
|PPG - Dick Tarnstrom (5) ASST: Tomas Surovy (7), Sidney Crosby (30)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Petr Prucha (23) ASST: Michael Nylander (31), Jaromir Jagr (41)|
2 - 1 NYR
|PPG - Sidney Crosby (23) ASST: Colby Armstrong (4), John Leclair (15)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Michal Rozsival (2) ASST: Petr Prucha (7), Fedor Tyutin (12)|
3 - 2 NYR
|Michael Nylander (11) ASST: Ville Nieminen (10), Tom Poti (12)|
4 - 2 NYR
|Max Talbot Holding the stick against Thomas Pock|
|Martin Rucinsky Hooking against John Leclair|
|Michael Nylander Tripping against Tomas Surovy|
|Thomas Pock Hooking against Tomas Surovy|
|Tomas Surovy Hi-sticking against Michal Rozsival|
|Dick Tarnstrom Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Guillaume Lefebvre Holding against Michael Nylander|
|Michal Rozsival Holding against Colby Armstrong|
|Ville Nieminen Holding the stick against Colby Armstrong|
|Sidney Crosby Interference on goalkeeper against Henrik Lundqvist|