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Rangers, Penguins Battle To Tie

With Mike Richter robbing Jaromir Jagr, the New York Rangers managed to steal a precious point in their playoff chase.

"I think I made a pretty good move, (but) he made a great save

he beat me this time," Jagr said after Richter's highlight-reel save on his breakaway in overtime preserved a 2-2 tie for the New York Rangers over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

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  • Richter made some key stops on Jagr and Martin Straka in the third period to keep the game tied before his beauty on Jagr in overtime. Jagr seemingly had a goal when Richter stuck out his left leg to stop the shot by the NHL's leading scorer.

    "You try to read what he is doing and take away as many options as possible," Richter said. "You almost have to expect (a breakaway by Jagr) because he is a game-breaker and he loves to do those things all the time."

    Richter made 30 saves to keep the Rangers' playoff hopes alive. They began the day four points behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot.

    "I thought we had good chances," Penguins coach Kevin Constantine said. "I thought Richter was really, really good. I thought both goalies were good, but Richter especially made some key saves."

    The Penguins had the territorial advantage and the momentum after rallying to tie the Rangers with goals by Bobby Dollas and German Titov in the second period.

    But Richter made sure that was it for Pittsburgh, with some sensational stops the rest of the way.

    "Obviously (the stops on Jagr and Straka) were the highlights," Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch said. "But (Richter) made some other (saves) on the few breakdowns we had."

    Pittsburgh's Jean-Sebastien Aubin was no slouch, either. He made 22 stops, including a nifty glove save on a line drive shot by Mathieu Schneider from the right point in the final two minutes of overtime that preserved the tie.

    The Penguins, 3-0-3 in ther last six games, outshot the Rangers 4-3 in overtime.

    Kevin Stevens and Petr Nedved scored for the Rangers, 6-3-3 since Wayne Gretzky was sidelined by a neck injury on Feb. 26. After the game, Gretzky said he was feeling better and hopes of returning to action as early as this weekend.

    The Rangers lost Ulf Samuelsson to a broken foot and said the veteran defenseman would be out two to three weeks.

    Stevens gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead when he scored from the right circle with a backhander at 6:19 of the first period after taking a sharp pass from Marc Savard skating into the Penguins' zone.

    After the game was delayed about a half hour between the first and second periods because of problems with the ice surface, the Rangers quickly cashed in a carry-over power play 15 seconds into the period when Nedved scored from the left circle. It was his 13th point in 12 games since taking over for the injured Wayne Gretzky on the Rangers' top line.

    Dollas cut New York's lead to one with a shot from the right circle at 7:11, only his second goal in 57 games this season. Titov tied it at 16:26, scoring on a rebound with the Penguins on a power play.

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