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Jaromir Jagr scores with 33.8 seconds left to help Rangers edge Penguins 2-1

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Jaromir Jagr scores with 33.8 seconds left to help Rangers edge Penguins 2-1

The Canadian Press
By:

Jagr swung around Alain Nasreddine and flipped the puck toward the net. The shot hit Scuderi and slipped underneath goalie Jocelyn Thibault, who stopped 40 of the previous 41 he faced. The puck disappeared, but it was revealed over the line when Thibault got up.

The goal was awarded after a video review that lasted a few minutes. Thibault hung his head in the crease and again on the bench once he was pulled for an extra skater in the closing seconds. He didn't face another shot.

But that was enough to snap Pittsburgh's winning streak at five and improve the Rangers' run to 7-1-3.

New York moved past idle Carolina into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, just two nights after getting into a playoff position. The Rangers, who nearly put up back-to-back shutouts for the first time since March 2003, trail sixth-place Tampa Bay by one point with nine games left.

The Penguins could've tied New Jersey for first in the Atlantic Division with a win, but instead remained two points back. Thibault sparkled in place of Penguins No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who backstopped a 4-3 shootout victory over Ottawa at home Sunday night.

This one was scoreless until the third period when Blair Betts gave New York a 1-0 lead at 47 seconds.

Pittsburgh caught the Rangers in the third for the third time in 19 days when Michel Ouellet tied it with 5:42 left.

Ouellet guided in Erik Christensen's pass before soaring through the crease over goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who was spread out in front.

Lundqvist, who stopped 30 shots in a 7-0 win against Boston on Saturday, had little work after the opening period. He stopped eight shots in the opening 20 minutes, five in the second, and eight in the third.

Thibault made 19 saves in the second period when the Rangers had three power-play chances. The 32-year-old netminder stopped 25 shots at New Jersey last Wednesday in his previous outing, posting his first NHL shutout since Oct. 8, 2003, and had gone 141 minutes, 15 seconds without allowing a goal when Betts broke the deadlock.

Even after the goal, Thibault shined - flopping in his crease to stop the Rangers at the midway point - and giving Pittsburgh a chance for another comeback. The Penguins beat the Rangers twice in the previous 10 games by erasing 2-0 deficits in the third period and winning in overtime.

After the Rangers won an offensive zone faceoff, Ryan Hollweg moved the puck back to defenceman Dan Girardi, who fired the puck into the slot. Betts spun to get his stick into position and deftly deflected it past Thibault for his ninth goal.

Hollweg earned his third point and second assist of the season hours after Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice decided not to pursue charges against Islanders forward Chris Simon, who struck Hollweg with a two-handed swing of his stick in a game earlier this month.

Notes: Linesman Brad Kovachik injured a wrist in a fall after colliding with Lundqvist near the Rangers bench in the second period. He didn't return. ... The Rangers haven't allowed a first-period goal in seven games. ... The Penguins have lost four of five on the back end of consecutive games. ... Sixteen of Pittsburgh's past 20 games have been decided by one goal.

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Jaromir Jagr scores with 33.8 seconds left to help Rangers edge Penguins 2-1