BRANDON SUTTER scored a shorthanded goal to break a second-period tie, and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved within one win of the Eastern Conference finals with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers last night in Madison Square Garden.
Pittsburgh, which has won three straight following a series-opening loss, can advance with a Game 5 victory at home tomorrow night.
Evgeni Malkin scored 2:31 into the game, and Jussi Jokinen made it 3-1 at 7:02 of the third period before the teams traded late goals.
Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 13 shots.
The only negative for the Penguins was that Fleury allowed a goal for the first time in three games. Carl Hagelin's tying tally in the second period was the Rangers' first goal in 145 minutes, 30 seconds of playing time. It was New York's first goal since Derick Brassard's overtime winner in Game 1.
Mats Zuccarello backhanded in a goal with 6:53 left to cut the Rangers' deficit to 3-2, on only their second shot of the third, but Chris Kunitz restored Pittsburgh's two-goal edge 57 seconds later.
Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves in the loss.
The weary Rangers played for the sixth time in 9 nights, and not even a full day of rest on Tuesday or the return of forward Chris Kreider helped them. Kreider played for the first time since breaking his left hand a month ago.
Jokinen, who has an eight-game points streak, scored his insurance goal with a flip shot that struck the right leg of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and bounded past Lundqvist.
Pittsburgh had regained the lead late in the second period by taking advantage of New York's inept power play. Not only did the Rangers fail to score for the 36th consecutive time on the power play, they fell behind when Sutter scored.
* The St. Louis Blues extended coach Ken Hitchcock's contract through next season, although there will be some staff changes.
Assistant coaches Brad Shaw and Ray Bennett also will return. A third assistant coach, Gary Agnew, and goaltending coach Corey Hirsch are not being retained.
The 62-year-old Hitchcock led the Blues to a franchise-record 52 victories this season and has taken them to the playoffs all three of his seasons. He's 124-55-20, a franchise-best .673 winning percentage, and is seventh on the NHL career list with 657 wins.
The Blues have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons, both times losing four straight after taking a 2-0 series lead against the defending Stanley Cup champion. In 2013, it was the Los Angeles Kings; this year it was the Chicago Blackhawks.
* The Buffalo Sabres are raising the price of season tickets despite coming off one of their worst years.
The team announced that prices are going up from between $1 and $4 per game next year. That translates into a $170 hike over an entire season for the most expensive seats.
Sabres president Ted Black explained the hike in price is in part to ensure the team meets league standards to qualify for revenue sharing.
The Sabres are offering rebates on merchandise and concession-stand prices to those who renew their season-ticket packages.
The increases come after Buffalo (21-51-10) finished with the NHL's worst record.