Jaromir Jagr returned from injuries ahead of schedule and rejuvenated the Pittsburgh Penguins' playoff hopes.
Jagr, sidelined 12 games by thigh and hamstring injuries, had three assists as the Penguins scored twice in a 43-second span of the third period to overtake the New York Rangers 5-4 Sunday night.
''Getting the three points, I don't care about that,'' said Jagr, who wasn't due to return for another 10 days. ''I knew it was a very important game for the team, and I'm glad we won.'
With the win, the Penguins moved ahead of the Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens into seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Penguins, 4-5 in their last nine, have 74 points to Montreal's 73 and the Rangers' 72.
The Penguins were 3-7-2 without Jagr.
''Obviously, the presence of No. 68 meant a lot,'' Penguins coach Herb Brooks said. ''He's been hurting for a while, and he gave us an inspirational lift.''
The NHL's leading scorer, with 88 points, had surgery last month to remove a blood clot from his left thigh, and was supposed to play only 10 minutes. Instead, Jagr played nearly twice that in his first three-point game since a seven-point night against the New York Islanders on Dec. 30. He removed himself from the game in the third period.
''I didn't feel good at all. I was way tired,'' Jagr said. ''I couldn't shoot because of my legs; the one isn't strong at all. It's not good for shooting. But I think it's going to get better.''
In other NHL games, Philadelphia beat Boston 6-2; Washington defeated Tampa Bay 5-2; Dallas topped San Jose 5-3; New Jersey beat Florida 5-2; Calgary edged Edmonton 3-2; Anaheim defeated Detroit 3-1; and Nashville got by Los Angeles 2-1 in overtime.
Martin Straka had two goals and Alexei Kovalev, traded by the Rangers to Pittsburgh last season, matched his career high with four points -- a goal and three assists -- as Pittsburgh rallied after failing to hold leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2.
The Rangers lost for the first time in the 22 games this season they have scored four or more goals.
Valeri Kamensky and John MacLean scored 13 seconds apart late in the second to give New York its first lead at 4-3.
But the Penguins tightened defensively and limited the Rangers to three shots in the first 15 minutes of the third before Straka tied it at 6:19.
Jiri Slegr's soft wrist shot sailed over goalie Mike Richter's right shoulder at 7:02 as the Penguins, trying to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990, scored a critical victory.
''We hope this is the start of something for us,'' Kovalev said. ''We're back into seventh place and we hope to keep it going.''
Flyers 6, Bruins 2
Rookie Simon Gagne's unassisted goal midway through the second period broke a tie, and John LeClair had a goal and two assists for Philadelphia.
Capitals 5, Lightning 2
Chris Simon and Sergei Gonchar each scored two goals as Washington rallied at home to beat Tampa Bay.
The victory gave Olaf Kolzig the most wins in a single season by a Capitals goalie with 36. Kolzig made 27 saves as he surpassed Jim Carey's 35 wins in 1995-96.
Stars 5, Sharks 3
Jamie Langenbrunner had two goals and an assist, and Brett Hull scored his 608th career goal in Dallas' home victory over San Jose.
Hull tied Dino Ciccarelli for 10th on the NHL career list and is two behind his father, Bobby Hull.
The Sharks' Owen Nolan scored twice to give him a career-high 44.
Devils 5, Panthers 2
Petr Sykora scored twice, and Patrik Elias had a goal and two assists in New Jersey's victory.
Scott Stevens and Bobby Holik also scored for the Devils, who won for the first time in three games. Pavel Bure scored his league-leading 51st goal for visiting Florida.
Flames 3, Oilers 2
Jason Wiemer scored midway through the third period as Calgary rallied from a two-goal deficit to end a six-game losing streak.
Mighty Ducks 3, Red Wings 1
Two power-play goals by Fredrik Olausson and a third by Paul Kariya led Anaheim past visiting Detroit.
Predators 2, Kings 1, OT
Greg Johnson scored the tying goal and assisted on Cliff Ronning's game-winner 51 seconds into overtime as Nashville won at Los Angeles.
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