Rangers’ five-game winning streak snapped with 5-2 loss to Penguins

NEW YORK (AP) — Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist and Alex Nedeljkovic made 28 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat New York 5-2 on Monday night, snapping the Rangers’ five-game winning streak.

Bryan Rust also scored twice and Emil Bemstrom added a goal for Pittsburgh, which ended a four-game losing streak in New York and improved to 14-9-3 in its last 26 games against Rangers. The Penguins lost both previous games this season at home against the first-place Rangers and were making their lone appearance at Madison Square Garden.

Kaapo Kakko and Jack Roslovic scored goals for the Rangers, and Igor Shesterkin finished with 16 saves.

The Rangers trailed 3-0 before Kakko ruined Nedeljkovic’s shutout bid at 10:42 of the third with his 12th goal of the season. Artemi Panarin got his team-leading 64th assist and 108th point on the play.

Roslovic made it 3-2 with 3:07 left in the third with his eighth goal of the season and second with the Rangers.

However, Rust and Crosby scored empty-net goals over the final 2:11 to cement the Penguins’ win as Nedeljkovic improved to 13-6-6 in his first season with the Penguins.

Pittsburgh is still facing missing the playoffs for a second straight season for the first time during Crosby’s career, which began in 2005-06.

The Rangers were coming off an 8-5 win at Arizona on Saturday, their 50th victory of the season. New York had won 11 of their previous 13 home contests, including last Tuesday’s wild 6-5 overtime win over Philadelphia.

Rust opened the scoring just 18 seconds into the contest, beating Shesterkin.

Crosby made it 2-0 at 10:39 and Bemstrom increased the lead to 3-0 with a breakaway goal at 9:51 of the third, his seventh.

Rust’s second goal of the game was his 26th of the season at 17:21 while Crosby’s second of the contest with 45 seconds left was his 37th of the season and the 587th of his career.

With 82 points this season, the 36-year-old Crosby is assured of averaging a point per game for the 19th time in his 19 NHL seasons. Wayne Gretzky also had 19 such campaigns.

Crosby’s first-period assist was the 997th of his career and his 80th point this season, marking the 13th time he has reached that milestone, tying him with Marcel Dionne, Mark Messier and Dale Hawerchuk. Gretzky has the most such seasons with 17.

The Rangers still have wins in seven of their last nine games and points in 24 of their last 30 with a 22-6-2 record.


Penguins: At New Jersey on Tuesday night.

Rangers: Host New Jersey on Wednesday night