PITTSBURGH - Two days after a five-goal first period, the New York Rangers had to delay their offensive outburst until the Pittsburgh Penguins committed some big penalties in the third.
Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan scored power-play goals 11 seconds apart as part of a four-goal final period and the Rangers extended their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 5-2 win over the Penguins on Sunday.
New York took advantage when Matt Cooke was given a 5-minute major penalty and ejected 4:36 into the third for an elbow to the head of defenseman Ryan McDonagh. After Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead with a short-handed goal during the long penalty, Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen was given four minutes for high-sticking Callahan three minutes later.
Gaborik slammed home a rebound of Brandon Dubinsky's shot to tie the game at 2 with 8 seconds remaining in the 5-on-3 advantage. Cooke's penalty had just ended when Callahan scored the game-winner, his 23rd goal, from a bad angle on the goal line.
"It's pretty easy to get down on ourselves [and] hang our heads after letting up a goal on the power play like that," said Callahan, who has scored in three straight games and has seven goals in six games. "But to our credit, we showed a lot of character coming back and still working."
New York's Henrik Lundqvist made 38 saves in his 17th consecutive start despite being questionable with a stiff neck. He was run over in the crease on Friday night by Montreal's Benoit Pouliot with 3:39 left of the Rangers' 6-3 win, but stayed in to earn his 30th win of the season.
After sitting out of practice Saturday, Lundqvist got back into the net on Sunday.
"Hank played with some [guts], didn't he?" Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "He played very well right on through. He gave us a chance ... and then we capitalized on their penalties in the third period."
Derek Stepan scored with 1:15 left and Dubinsky added an empty-net goal to close out the scoring. Artem Anisimov had given the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Rangers All-Star defenseman Marc Staal didn't play because of an undisclosed injury, but his brother provided a spark for the Penguins.
Jordan Staal tied it 1-1 in the first period for Pittsburgh, which had won four of five. The Penguins missed a chance to move within four points of Philadelphia in the race for the Eastern Conference's best record.
Cooke has been suspended three times over the past three seasons for illegal hits. He also delivered a hit on Boston's Marc Savard in March 2010 that resulted in a severe concussion and prompted the NHL to adopt a new rule that bans blindside hits to the head.
Cooke appeared to stick out his elbow to strike McDonagh near center ice early in the third.
"I didn't see him coming. I know it hurt, that's for sure," McDonagh said. "I would hope it wasn't his intent. It's a tight game. I'm sure he's not trying to get his team a five-minute penalty. He'd probably just trying to finish his check and just caught me wrong."
Cooke wasn't available to reporters after the game. Tortorella sidestepped the question of what discipline the NHL should give Cooke, saying, "That's not for me to decide. You're not getting me involved in that stuff."