NEW YORK (AP) _ The Pittsburgh Penguins are streaking in a way they find
``We've got a winning streak. We're happy about that,'' defenseman Dick
Tarnstrom said Sunday after the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 7-4 to post
consecutive victories for the first time since December.
Tarnstrom scored a tying goal in the second period, then set up Konstantin
Koltsov's winner with 6:27 remaining. Ryan Malone stretched the lead 53 seconds
later for the Penguins, 4-2-1 since breaking their 18-game losing streak.
``The last week and a half has been pretty good,'' Tarnstrom said.
Pittsburgh, an NHL-worst 15-44-6-4, hadn't won two straight since home
victories on Dec. 13-16.
Milan Kraft had two goals, one with 3:50 remaining for the Penguins, who
ended a 16-game winless streak at home Saturday by beating Anaheim.
``I think it was building even when we went through that tough streak,''
rookie coach Eddie Olczyk said. ``Unfortunately for us, in those games we
weren't winning. As of late, we're playing a lot better and the guys are
It's been quite the opposite for the Rangers, who are being stripped of
veteran talent. The Rangers are approaching the end of a seventh straight
season without a playoff appearance.
New York traded off Brian Leetch, Alex Kovalev, Petr Nedved, Jussi Markkanen
and Chris Simon in a four-trade roster purge this week by general manager Glen
The Rangers were trying for their first winning streak since Dec. 29-30, but
instead gave their frustrated fans more to vent about. Matthew Barnaby scored
two goals in what was likely his last game with the Rangers, and Mark Messier
and Jan Hlavac added three assists each.
Barnaby scored in the first period to bring the Rangers into a 1-1 tie and
then got his 100th NHL goal with 2.4 seconds left in the middle period to get
New York even at 4.
The gritty Barnaby is expected to be dealt before the NHL trade deadline
``It has obviously crept into my mind,'' Barnaby said. ``It is a tough game
to play when the people have been so good to you here and you know it is
probably the last time you are going to play in a Ranger uniform.
``We know what they're doing here. It's just part of the job. You wait, and
your time is coming, but you just get ready for it.''
Barnaby is likely not the only player to be sent packing soon. Interest from
playoff contenders has surrounded forward Martin Rucinsky, as well as
defensemen Greg de Vries, Vladimir Malakhov and Tom Poti, who scored his ninth
goal to give New York a 2-1 lead in the second.
Messier's name has also come up in talks, but leaving New York is not in his
plans. The captain, who has two goals and eight assists in six games, said he
hasn't spoken to Sather since he relinquished his coaching duties Feb. 25 to
focus on being the GM.
Messier said he made it clear in the past he doesn't want to be dealt. He
stopped short of saying he wouldn't report if a trade is completed.
``I don't feel like going somewhere else is really what I'm looking for,''
the 43-year-old Messier said.
Jaromir Jagr also scored for the Rangers. Hlavac, a healthy scratch the
previous two games, and Messier set up both of Barnaby's goals, and Poti's.
Rob Scuderi scored his first NHL goal and had his first multipoint game by
assisting on Kraft's first goal. Tarnstrom and Landon Wilson also scored in
Pittsburgh's three-goal second period. The Penguins also had three in the third
for their highest-scoring game of the season.
``It was a different type of game and we are extremely pleased to come out
with a win,'' Olczyk said.
Poti scored 3:33 into the second to push the Rangers ahead 2-1, but
Tarnstrom netted his 13th goal five seconds into a power play to tie it.
Kraft made it 3-2 when he got a shot to trickle between the crook in the arm
of goalie Jason LaBarbera, a goal that had the rookie bent over his pads with
his head on the ice in embarrassment.
It took only 51 seconds for Brian Holzinger to find Wilson for an easy
redirect goal that made it 4-2.