Sean Avery had been all talk. Until Thursday night, that is.
The Rangers' notorious agitator goaded 20-year NHL veteran Gary Roberts into a 4-minute penalty that led to a goal, and posted his first multipoint game of the season in New York's 4-2 victory over the Penguins.
Playing for the fourth time since returning from a 10-game absence due to a shoulder injury, Avery slapped home a power-play goal - his first tally this season - 9:40 into the second period to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
"I'm kind of used to the unnerving part, so getting the first (goal) out of the way I think was bigger," Avery said. "I definitely think teams want me to do poorly, they probably want me to get hurt, and want me to take penalties and generally not play well.
"That's part of the thing that motivates me."
In other NHL games, it was: New Jersey 4, Philadelphia 1; Tampa Bay 5, Carolina 1; Montreal 2, Boston 1; Washington 4, Ottawa, 1; Phoenix 5, Dallas 2; and Vancouver 3, Calgary 2.
At New York, Avery's annoyance of Roberts created a long power play that produced Michal Rozsival's power-play goal that put the Rangers ahead for good late in the first.
"The young guys, they're a little dumb. They don't really know what's going on half the time," Avery said. "So a guy like that, they take it a little bit more of an insult after you disrespect them and all they've done for the game and how great they are."
Avery's offense along with Brandon Dubinsky's first NHL goal paced New York's best scoring output since opening night.
"Juggernaut," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "The guys were saying that on the bench. It was a huge night for us."
Scott Gomez netted his fourth, scoring off an assist from Avery, and helped set up Rozsival's goal for the Rangers. New York won its fifth straight at home and snapped a run of four straight two-goal games.
Sergei Gonchar got the first puck past Henrik Lundqvist, bringing the Penguins into a 1-1 tie in the first. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby earned his 15th assist to extend his career-best point streak to 15 games. Evgeni Malkin was credited with the second helper, the 16th this season and his ninth straight game with a point.
Mark Recchi added a power-play goal 4:22 into the third, with Dubinsky in the box, to cut the deficit to 4-2.
"Too little, too late," Crosby said. "We've got to give ourselves a better chance to get back into it."
Viktor Kozlov had a goal and two assists in the second period and visiting Washington ended Ottawa's team-record winning streak at eight games.
Olaf Kolzig made 27 saves for the Capitals, who had lost four in a row and 10 of 12.
Alexander Ovechkin scored his 10th goal with 3:45 left in the third to restore Washington's three-goal lead after Kozlov, Nicklas Backstrom and Tomas Fleischman each scored in the second to put the Capitals up 3-0.
Steven Reinprecht had two goals and an assist and Phoenix snapped a six-game home losing streak.
Ed Jovanovski added a goal and two assists, and Mike York and Keith Ballard each had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who won at home for the first time since a 3-2 victory opening night against St. Louis.
Brenden Morrow and Stephane Robidas scored for the Stars, who have lost four of six.
Veteran Dainius Zubrus and rookie Rodney Pelley scored their first goals of the season in a three-goal flurry to help host New Jersey win for the second time in eight games.
Zubrus and Brian Gionta scored within 18 seconds of each other in the first period after spotting Philadelphia a 1-0 lead, and Zubrus scored again late in the period to give New Jersey a 3-1 lead.
Shane O'Brien scored two goals to lead Tampa Bay to its first road victory of the season.
Vincent Lecavalier, Filip Kuba and Vaclav Prospal each scored for the Lightning, who were 0-7 away from home this season. Prospal and Michel Ouellet added two early assists as Tampa Bay won consecutive games following a six-game losing streak.
Rookie Carey Price made 28 saves and visiting Montreal beat the Bruins for a fifth straight time.
Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, whose line of Kovalev, Plekanec and Andrei Kastsitsyn combined for six points.
Byron Ritchie scored his first goal of the season against his former team, Roberto Luongo made 36 saves and visiting Vancouver hung on to beat Calgary.
Brendan Morrison and Alex Burrows also scored for the Canucks.
Anders Eriksson and Owen Nolan scored for Calgary, which lost its fourth straight to drop to 6-7-3.