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Crosby leads Pens past Rangers

THE Pittsburgh Penguins returned from the mid-season break in style with a 6-2 rout of the New York Rangers on Wednesday as Sidney Crosby scored a goal and added two assists.

Crosby missed the All-Star Game on the weekend with a knee injury, but looked back to his best in helping the Penguins (24-21-4) tally five times in the third period to win for the third time in four games.

Petr Sykora and Kris Letang added two goals apiece as the Penguins matched their largest scoring output since December 18.

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had 32 saves for the Penguins, who advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, but are struggling to make the playoffs this campaign.

"It's in everybody's mind in this room that there's no way we're not making the playoffs," forward Max Talbot said. "I don't think it can happen, in our heads."

Despite his poor third period, goalie Henrik Lundqvist recorded 27 saves for the Rangers, who fell to the Penguins for the second time in quick succession after a 3-0 loss on January 18.

After goals by the Rangers' Nikolai Zherdev and then Sykora at 6:35 in the first, both teams were held scoreless before the floodgates opened in the third.

Jordan Staal put the Penguins 2-1 up a minute into the period, before Letang and Sykora made the game safe for the Penguins.

Marc Staal pulled one back for New York with six minutes remaining but Pittsburgh capped a fine display with Letang's second of the game and Crosby's 19th goal of the season.

In other games, it was: Flames 5, Sabres 2; Blackhawks 3, Ducks 2; and Predators 5, Canucks 3.

In Calgary, Alberta, Michael Cammalleri scored three times in the Calgary Flames 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.


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