PITTSBURGH – Jason Strudwick scored on a 2-on-1 break with fellow Rangers defenseman Paul Mara in overtime and New York rallied from two goals down, then withstood a late Pittsburgh goal to beat the Penguins 4-3 Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.

Strudwick, who didn’t have a point in 13 games, got behind defenseman Sergei Gonchar and took Mara’s perfectly placed cross-crease pass to slide it inside the near post before goalie Marc-Andre Fleury could react with 1 minute, 40 seconds gone in overtime.

The Penguins had been held to a single shot in the third period before Petr Sykora tied it with about 51/2 minutes remaining. Eric Christensen’s shot deflected off the rear boards, and Evgeni Malkin, despite being tied up in front of the net, managed to direct it to Sykora for his ninth goal. Malkin’s 20th assist gave him at least one point in 13 consecutive games.

Dan Girardi had put the Rangers up 3-2 with a power-play goal late in a three-goal Rangers second period, making up for an earlier mistake on a Penguins short-handed tally to score his second goal. Girardi was moved onto the top power-play unit after the Rangers were 0-for-5 with the man advantage while beating the Flyers 4-3 in a shootout Thursday.

The Rangers, who got all their goals from defensemen, swept a four-game road trip – winning three times after regulation.

Michal Rozsival started New York’s comeback from a Sidney Crosby-created two-goal deficit by scoring twice in slightly more than three minutes early in the second period.

The Rangers clamped down defensively behind Henrik Lundqvist, who made 20 saves, to win their ninth in 10 games and send the slumping Penguins to their fifth loss in six games and seventh in nine games.

Crosby set up Maxime Talbot’s short-handed goal and scored himself in a three-minute span of the first period and last season’s NHL MVP and scoring champion appeared to be headed to a big night. Instead, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals in the second period before holding Pittsburgh without a shot for nearly 11 minutes to start the third.

Rozsival, a former Penguins defenseman, got the Rangers back into the game when he scored 49 seconds into the second period by beating Fleury on a one-timer set up by Brandon Dubinsky. Rozsival then matched the Penguins’ short-handed goal by scoring one himself, after Sean Avery carried the puck down the right-wing boards and fed him in the high slot for his sixth.

The Rangers won their fourth in a row on the road after starting 0-5-1 away from Madison Square Garden.

Crosby ran his league-best scoring streak to 19 games – he has scored in every Pittsburgh game but the opener – by working a 2-on-1 break with Talbot after stealing the puck from point man Girardi on a Rangers power play. Crosby accelerated by Jaromir Jagr and threw a backhand pass across the slot directly to Talbot.

Eight of Talbot’s 19 career goals have been shorthanded, including two of five this season.

Crosby made it 2-0 with about nine minutes gone in the first.

Notes: The Penguins scratched D Darryl Sydor for the second game in a row. … Rangers C Scott Gomez’s eight-game point streak ended. … Pittsburgh has allowed a league-high 62 goals. … Crosby has 24 points in 18 career games against New York. … The Rangers lead the season series 2-1. They had lost three in a row and five of six in Pittsburgh, including a 1-0 decision on Oct. 23. … The Rangers have allowed only 10 goals in the third period.

AP-ES-11-17-07 2219EST

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