Even without Mario Lemieux, the Pittsburgh Penguins had enough to cripple the New York Rangers' playoff hopes.
Martin Straka and Tomas Surovy scored power-play goals in the first period as the Penguins snapped a 16-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night. Lemieux, fifth in the NHL scoring race, missed the game because of back spasms.
"It was a must-win game for them, and for us they are all must-wins because it's been a frustrating couple of weeks," said Pittsburgh's Steve McKenna, who spent last season with the Rangers.
New York desperately needed a win to have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. The Rangers trail the New York Islanders by six points for the final berth in the Eastern Conference with only five games remaining. Any combination of five points gained by the Islanders or lost by the Rangers will eliminate New York.
"Time isn't on our side," New York center Eric Lindros said. "Every game is important and we blew it."
New York dropped three of five games to Pittsburgh, losing the season series for the fourth straight season. The Rangers have eight losses to Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Buffalo — three of the bottom four teams in the East.
OILERS 4, COYOTES 3: At Edmonton, Alberta, Mike York scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period as Edmonton clinched a playoff berth.
BLUES 1, WILD 0: At St. Paul, Minn., Cory Stillman scored, and Chris Osgood recorded his second shutout since joining St. Louis.
SABRES 2, PANTHERS 1; At Buffalo, N.Y., Daniel Briere's power-play goal late in the second period gave Buffalo its second straight win.
THRASHERS 5, HURRICANES 1: At Atlanta, Dany Heatley scored two goals and Atlanta extended Carolina's winless streak to six games.