Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby continued his potent point-scoring run since returning from injury but the Penguins fell 4-3 to New York on Tuesday, allowing the Rangers to close the gap in the Atlantic division.
James Neal put the Pens ahead 1-0 with his 14th goal of the season in the first period, but the Rangers hit back in the second with strikes from Ryan Callahan, John Mitchell, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik to take control.
I didn't feel like they had a lot of zone time or anything like that, they just got a few chances off the rush and power-play goals, Crosby told reporters. We made some mistakes and gave them momentum.
Evgeni Malkin netted his ninth goal of the season with seven seconds left in the second period to bring the Penguins back to 4-2, and Pascal Dupuis pulled the visitors within one at 3:39 in the third but that was as close as they came.
New York (13-5-3) held on for their third consecutive victory, pulling within three points of the Atlantic division-leading Penguins.
Crosby finished with two assists for the Penguins (14-7-4) and now has two goals and nine assists in five games since returning from concussion symptoms that sidelined him for 10 months.
He's definitely lethal every time he touches the puck, said New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh. You want to keep him away from that slot, that's where he likes to hide and get his chances. It wasn't easy.
New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, coming off a shutout against Philadelphia on Saturday, made 24 saves to continue the Rangers' dominance at home. New York have won seven in a row on their ice and have the best home record in the NHL at 7-1-1.
Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 26 saves in the loss.