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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers

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GAME: Pittsburgh Penguins (14-44-6-4) at New York Rangers (24-32-7-5).

TIME: Sunday, 5 p.m. EST.

As they continue to shed their roster of high-priced talent, the New York Rangers take on another rebuilding team when the NHL-worst Pittsburgh Penguins visit Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers continued to empty their roster of veterans Saturday, dealing rugged winger Chris Simon to the Calgary Flames for goalie Jamie McLennan, and forwards Blair Betts and Greg Moore. It was the fourth deal in five days made by general manager Glen Sather before Tuesday's NHL trading deadline.

Simon joins Brian Leetch, Alex Kovalev, Petr Nedved and Jussi Markkanen, all dealt this week by the Rangers. New York is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

Simon, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, had 14 goals and 23 points in 65 games with the Rangers this season.

The Rangers are coming off a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, snapping a four-game winless streak (0-0-3-1)

Jason LaBarbera made 19 saves for his first NHL victory and assisted on Bobby Holik's winning goal.

"It was just fun to be out there and the whole atmosphere in the Garden," LaBarbera said. "It was a pretty cool experience."

The Penguins, meanwhile, snapped their 16-game home winless streak with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Saturday. Ric Jackman and Matt Bradley scored first-period goals and rookie Andy Chiodo stopped 26 shots.

The Penguins, who also endured an 18-game winless streak overall, were 0-15-1 at home since defeating Chicago on Dec. 29.

Pittsburgh, which set an NHL record by losing 14 consecutive home games until tying the New York Islanders on Tuesday, barely avoided another dubious entry in the record book. The longest home winless streak in NHL history is 17 games, set by Ottawa (0-15-2) in 1995-96 and matched by Atlanta (0-15-2) in 1999-2000.

STANDINGS: Penguins - 38 points, 5th place, 50 PB, Atlantic Division. Rangers - 60 points, 4th place, 28 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Penguins - Ryan Malone, 20 goals; Dick Tarnstrom, 26 assists and 38 points; Brooks Orpik, 113 PIM. Rangers - Jaromir Jagr, 26 goals, 39 assists and 65 points; Matthew Barnaby, 12 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 5): Penguins - Power play: 14.9 percent (45 for 303), 23rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 75.5 percent (234 for 310), 30. Rangers - Power play:14.2 percent (39 for 275), 25th. Penalty killing: 80.8 percent (267 for 330), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Penguins - Chiodo (3-4-1, 0 SO, 3.58 GAA); Jean-Sebastien Aubin (2-8-0, 0, 3.25). Rangers - Mike Dunham (15-24-6, 1, 2.97); LaBarbera (1-1-0, 0, 3.91).

SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 3; Rangers, 4-1. At Pittsburgh, Mark Messier set up the Rangers' first two goals and Markkanen withstood a penalty shot and made 40 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Penguins - 6-22-2-4 on the road; Rangers - 13-16-3-4 at home.


Associated Press
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