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Rangers 4, Penguins 3 (SO)

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PITTSBURGH -- Center Brad Richards scored the decisive goal in a shootout to lift the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.

Richards got the puck past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Rangers (32-24-3) their fifth win in their last six games.

Left winger Mats Zuccarello also scored for the Rangers in the shootout. Center Evgeni Malkin was the only one to beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with the Penguins' three chances.

The Eastern Conference-leading Penguins (40-15-3) lost for just the second time in their last 19 games at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins left winger James Neal sent the game into overtime by scoring with 2:56 left in regulation. Neal took a pass in the slot from rookie defenseman Olli Maatta and beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot for his 20th goal of the season.

Rangers left winger Benoit Pouliot broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal at 9:24 of the third period. Defenseman Dan Girardi shot wide of the net and Pouliot corraled the carom just to the left of the crease and a lifted a shot over Fleury's left shoulder for his 11th goal of the season.

Pouliot scored two goals and Girardi added the other goal for New York. Maatta and Malkin also scored for Pittsburgh and Neal added an assist.

Lundqvist stopped 26 shots and Fleury made 38 saves.

The Penguins were playing just hours after getting the sobering news that defenseman Kris Letang had been diagnosed with a stroke. The two-time All-Star became ill on Jan. 29 in Phoenix during the Penguins' last road trip and underwent a battery of tests on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Letang will be treated with blood thinners then have his condition re-evaluated in six weeks. The Penguins are hoping he will be able to play late in the regular season.

"The most important thing right now, of course, is Kris' health," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said before the game. "We're not thinking about hockey. We want to make sure he gets the best possible care and gets better."

The score was tied 1-1 after the first period, 2-2 after the second and 3-3 after the third and overtime.

Pouliot opened the scoring just 1:04 when poked in a rebound for his 10th goal of the season. Fleury stopped Zuccarello's shot between his left leg and the goal post and Pouliot then knocked the puck off Fleury's blocker and into the net.

Maatta tied it at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 11:43 of the first period, scoring his sixth goal of the season by backhanding a rebound of a shot by center Sidney Crosby past Lundqvist.

The Rangers went back on top 2-1 on Girardi's power-play goal that came just 34 seconds into the second period and four seconds after Neal was called for slashing. Girardi scored his fourth off a faceoff win by center Derick Brassard at the left dot.

Malkin's 18th goal of the season, on a power play at 8:29, tied the score 2-2 as he converted a give-and-go play with Neal.

NOTES: Rangers RW Ryan Callahan was not traded before Friday's roster freeze that will be in effect through the Olympic break. The Rangers captain is eligibile for free agency at the end of the season, but contract extension talks reached a standstill. The trading deadline is March 5. ... Penguins LW Taylor Pyatt was scratched for a second straight game because of a lower-body injury. ... Penguins D Olli Maatta, who is on Finland's roster, will be of three teenagers that will play in the Olympic tournament in Sochi, Russia, along with Florida Panthers C Aleksander Barkov (Finland) and Dallas Stars RW Valeri Nichushkin (Russia). Maatta is 19 and Barkov and Nichuskin are both 18. ... Both teams next play Feb. 27, with the Penguins hosting the Montreal Canadiens and the Rangers playing at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.
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