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NEW YORK (AP) - John Mitchell and Brad Richards scored 90 seconds apart in New York's four-goal second period, and the Rangers held on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Tuesday night for their third consecutive win.

Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik both had a goal and assist in the period, and Richards added two assists as New York won its seventh straight at home and 10th in 12 games overall. The four goals in the period matched a season high, done three previous times - including twice in three games.

Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves for his 10th win in 17 outings.

Sidney Crosby helped set up James Neal's first-period goal that gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead and assisted on Pascal Dupuis' goal that made it 4-3 early in the third. Crosby has at least one point in four of five games since returning from a concussion that sidelined him since January. Crosby, who played at Madison Square Garden for the first time in exactly one year, has two goals and nine assists this season.

Crosby wasn't forgotten by Rangers fans during his long absence, and heard boos nearly every time he touched the puck.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Dale Hunter's NHL coaching career began with a thud as the Capitals struggled again in a loss to St. Louis.

T.J. Oshie and Matt D'Agostini scored for the Blues, who won their fourth straight game to improve to 8-1-2 under Ken Hitchcock.

Nicklas Backstrom got the lone goal for the Capitals, whose attack was as ineffective under Hunter as it had been recently under fired coach Bruce Boudreau. Washington was outshot 30-19 by the stingiest defense in the NHL.

Hunter was hired Monday to replace Boudreau, who won 200 games faster than any coach in modern NHL history but couldn't find sustained success in the playoffs.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Shawn Matthias scored with 3:19 left to help Florida spoil Kirk Muller's debut as the Hurricanes' coach.

Tomas Fleischmann also scored and Matthias added an empty-netter for the Southeast Division-leading Panthers. Jose Theodore made 26 saves.

Florida went more than 20 minutes between shots before scoring late to snap a two-game losing streak.

Jeff Skinner scored and Cam Ward stopped 18 shots - and stuffed Jack Skille's penalty shot midway through the third period - for last-place Carolina, which lost its fourth straight.

Muller took over after Paul Maurice was dismissed by Carolina on Monday for the second time in a decade.


CHICAGO (AP) - Mike Smith made 24 saves and Ray Whitney had a goal and two assists to lead Phoenix to the victory.

Daymond Langkow, Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata also scored as the Coyotes improved to 7-3-1 on the road.

When Whitney scored Phoenix's second goal in the final period, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville pulled goalie Corey Crawford, who gave up four scores on 21 shots.

Smith missed his second straight shutout when Patrick Sharp scored with 42.9 seconds left in the game. Smith blanked Dallas 3-0 on Saturday night.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Brian Rolston scored the go-ahead goal 9:23 into the third period and Al Montoya stopped 30 shots to send the Islanders to their second straight road win.

Matt Moulson also scored for New York, which opened the season 0-5-2 away from Long Island before starting its four-game road trip with a 3-2 win at New Jersey on Saturday. Montoya was particularly solid in the third period, when he stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced.

Jochen Hecht scored for the banged-up Sabres, who dropped to 6-7-1 at home this season. Buffalo was missing seven regulars, and lost defenseman Jordan Leopold to an upper body injury in the first period.

The Sabres now have lost to the worst team in each conference in less than a week, including a 5-1 decision at Western Conference cellar-dwelling Columbus on Friday.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - Zack Smith and Milan Michalek had two goals apiece to lift Ottawa to the victory.

Smith broke a 4-all tie with his second score of the night on a power play with 6:15 left. He cut in off the boards and sent a shot past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

Jason Spezza had the tying goal in the third period and Nick Foligno added an empty-netter with 1:08 remaining. Craig Anderson had 39 saves.

Evander Kane had two goals for the Jets, and Blake Wheeler and Alexander Burmistrov also scored. Pavelec finished with 28 saves in the opener of Winnipeg's five-game homestand.

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