PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr scored three goals, including a
pair 15 seconds apart with the teams skating 4-on-4 in the second
period, and the New York Rangers won their third in a row on the
road by beating the lethargic Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1 Saturday
Jagr's 15th, 16th and 17th goals came after he went scoreless
for four games -- a stretch in which the Rangers won three times,
losing only to the Penguins on Monday. Jagr's big night came as
some in the standing-room crowd of 17,132 booed him any time he
touched the puck, a response to his messy departure four years ago
from the town where he won two Stanley Cups.
Jagr made it 2-0 midway through the second, working a 3-on-1
break with Jason Ward and Tom Poti after the Rangers collected the
rebound of Ziggy Palffy's missed shot and went on a rush. Jagr, the
only Rangers skater to stay on the ice after that goal, scored a
stylish goal 15 seconds later by skating down the left wing boards
and wristing a shot that flew between defenseman Ryan Whitney's
legs and past goalie Jocelyn Thibault.
Jagr got his 12th career hat trick by scoring late in third and
already has five multi-goal games in 19 games this season, two of
three goals. He has 101 multigoal games in his career.
Steve Rucchin also had two goals in the third period for the
Rangers, who controlled the game from the start as the Penguins
looked lifeless and leg-weary while playing their fourth game in
six nights. Even Sidney Crosby, the outstanding 18-year-old rookie
who won Thursday night's game against Montreal with a shootout
goal, didn't look into it, getting only two shots until the third
period and taking penalties on consecutive shifts in the third.
The Rangers were so in control, they kept the puck in the
Pittsburgh zone for minutes at the time, even though they didn't
score 5-on-5 until Rucchin's first goal in the third period. As a
result, the fans weren't into it, either, and even the periodic
booing of Jagr quieted after a while.
Jed Ortmeyer put the Rangers in control from the start, scoring
2:15 into the game by stealing the puck from defenseman Sergei
Gonchar a few feet across the blue line and stuffing in his own
rebound after Jocelyn Thibault stopped his initial shot. Thibault
gave up six goals on 41 shots two nights after winning for the
first time this season by turning aside 30 of 32 Montreal shots.
The Rangers got a strong performance from goalie Kevin Weekes,
who made 23 saves for his fourth victory of the season after Henrik
Lundqvist played well in consecutive victories at Florida and Tampa
Bay. Not that the Penguins pressured Weekes much, generating few
scoring opportunities while going 0-for-6 on the power play.
The Rangers also were playing their fourth in six nights.
They are 5-1 in November. ... Rucchin has three goals and three
assists in five games. ... Pittsburgh had won its last four against
the Rangers dating to the 2003-04 season. ... The Penguins are
2-4-2 at home, the Rangers 6-3-1 on the road with games left
Tuesday at Toronto and Thursday at Carolina on their five-game road
trip. ... Jagr has six goals in 14 career games against Pittsburgh.