Rangers beat Coyotes in shoot-out

Rookie Derek Stepan scored the tying goal late in regulation and Erik Christensen netted the only goal in the shoot-out as the New York Rangers rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Rangers goalie Martin Biron turned aside Lee Stempniak, Radim Vrbata and Eric Belanger in the shoot-out to make Christensen's first-round tally stand up.

Jason LaBarbera, a late fill-in for Phoenix, was in line for his third straight win before Stepan tied it with 5 minutes, 43 seconds left in regulation.

Dan Girardi had a goal and assist, and Brandon Prust scored a shorthanded goal for the Rangers, who have won 10 of 14. Biron made 33 saves.

Elsewhere: The host New York Islanders built a 3-0 lead in the first period and held on to shade the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. . . . The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the host Atlanta Thrashers, 3-2, in a shoot-out. Jussi Jokinen and Sergei Samsonov had shoot-out goals to seal the win. . . . Brian Gionta's second period goal proved to be the difference as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-3.

5 Hall of Famers on Pens' alumni roster

Mario Lemieux will be joined by Hall of Famers Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Bryan Trottier and Larry Murphy on the Pittsburgh Penguins' roster for a Winter Classic alumni game against the Washington Capitals in Pittsburgh on Dec. 31. The outdoor game will be played the day before the Capitals-Penguins game at Heinz Field. The alumni game will precede the only practices for both teams on the outdoor rink, which will be built at the Steelers' stadium. The Capitals' alumni roster includes 500-goal scorer Peter Bondra, plus Michal Pivonka, Sylvain Cote, Scott Walker, Don Beaupre and Nick Kypreos. Attendance for the alumni game and Penguins practice will be limited to 10,000. Washington's practice will be closed.

Kesler's first hat trick powers Canucks

Ryan Kesler scored a power-play goal 1:30 into overtime to complete his first NHL hat trick and lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. Kesler, who had 12 previous two-goal games, took a pass from Daniel Sedin on a two-on-one break and fired a quick shot over the outstretched pad of goalie Mathieu Garon. Vancouver received the power play when Jan Hejda was called for boarding Dan Hamhuis. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves as Vancouver improved to 7-1-1 its last nine games.

- Associated Press