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Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) battles with New York Rangers' Marc Staal (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Gene J. Puskar/AP


Pittsburgh — Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves for his sixth straight victory and the New York Rangers won their fourth consecutive game with a 3-1 win over the host Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

Lundqvist improved to 18-7-4 in handing the Penguins their third straight loss.

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Derek Stepan's ninth goal of the season at 1:20 of the third period secured the win for the Rangers. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury came out to play the puck, but fanned on it and gave it right to Marian Gaborik. His shot hit the post but the rebound came right to Stepan, who snapped the puck into the open net.

Brandon Dubinsky gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with a shorthanded goal at 3:09 of the middle frame after captain Ryan Callahan fed Dubinsky on a 2-on-1 break. It was Dubinsky's fifth goal and the Rangers sixth shorthanded marker of the season.

Callahan extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, six assists).

Ben Lovejoy scored his first goal of the season for the Penguins, and Brad Richards replied with his 15th for the Rangers in the first period.


Newark, N.J. — Ilya Kovalchuk had two third-period goals to lead New Jersey over Florida.

Kovalchuk broke a 2-2 tie at 11:40, when he made a nice rush up the ice and took a return pass from Patrik Elias, who was playing in the 1,000th game.

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Kovalchuk added an empty-net goal in the closing minute, his 14th goal of the season.

The Devils got a first-period goal from rookie Adam Henrique and a second-period goal from Elias.

It was Henrique's 11th goal of the season and the 14th for Elias. Zach Parise added an empty-net goal.

The Panthers got a first-period goal from Mikael Samuelsson and a second-period goal from Krystofer Barch.

Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves for Florida, while Johan Hedberg had 22 saves for the Devils.


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Raleigh, N.C. — Eric Staal had a goal and two assists to lead Carolina past Buffalo.

Chad LaRose scored the go-ahead goal with 11:50 left, Justin Faulk also scored and Brandon Sutter added an empty-net goal for the Hurricanes.

They never trailed in winning for the fourth time in seven games. They have earned points in three of four in their attempt to escape the Eastern Conference cellar.

Jason Pominville was credited with a bizarre goal and added an assist, and Thomas Vanek also scored for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost nine of 12.

Cam Ward made 31 saves for Carolina while Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots for the Sabres.


Chicago — Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves to earn his second shutout, and T.J. Galiardi had a goal and an assist to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Friday night for their fourth straight win.

David Jones, David Van Der Gulik and Chuck Kobasew also scored for Colorado, which has won nine of its past 10.

Varlamov made a few sharp close-in saves, but wasn't consistently tested by the Blackhawks in his sixth career shutout.

Chicago lost its third straight to match a season high for consecutive defeats, and has dropped four of its past five following a 9-1-1 run.

The Avalanche continue to play well and have climbed back into the Western Conference playoff race without forward Matt Duchene, who missed his third game with a knee injury.

Chicago's Corey Crawford stopped 18 shots.


Anaheim, Ca. — Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, Bobby Ryan had two goals and the Anaheim Ducks beat the New York Islanders 4-2 Friday night to end a three-game skid.

Jonas Hiller stopped 19 shots to earn his 99th NHL career victory for the Ducks, who avoided their second four-game losing streak of the season.

The Islanders led 2-1 early in the third on a goal by Kyle Okposo only to have the Ducks score the game's final three goals and end New York's three-game winning streak in a matchup of two teams next-to-last in their respective divisions.

Evgeni Nabokov made 16 saves for the Islanders, leaving him two wins away from 300.

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