NEW YORK (AP) -Petr Prucha returned from exile to score his first goal of the season late in the third period and the New York Rangers went on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night.
Prucha had been a healthy scratch for the previous 10 games and turned down the Rangers' request over the weekend to go down to the AHL on a conditioning assignment. Confident he was fit enough to play, New York coach Tom Renney put him in the lineup and got rewarded.
Scott Gomez, who assisted on both Rangers goals, fired wide of the net but the rebound bounced off the end boards to Prucha for the putback at the right post that beat sprawling goalie Dany Sabourin with 5:57 left.
Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev and Fredrik Sjostrom had shootout goals for the Rangers, who allowed only defenseman Kris Letang to score in the tiebreaker. Henrik Lundqvist earned his NHL-leading 16th win and has allowed only three goals in 19 shootout shots. New York is 7-1 in the tiebreaker this season.
OTTAWA (AP) - Dany Heatley had a goal and two assists, and Ottawa got first-period goals from each member of the Pizza Line.
Heatley opened the scoring with his 13th goal 1:18 in, and set up goals by linemates Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson later in the period.
Brendan Bell added his first goal in six games with Ottawa in the second, and Shean Donovan scored the Senators' fifth goal late in the third. Alex Auld stopped 22 shots.
Eric Boulton scored his first goal in 47 games for Atlanta.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves for his third shutout of the season and 12th in three seasons with Minnesota.
Andrew Brunette and Marek Zidlicky scored power-play goals to help Minnesota take the Northwest Division lead with its third victory in four games. Eric Belanger and Antti Miettinen also scored.