Evgeni Malkin scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period as the Penguins edged the New York Rangers 3-1 yesterday in the first half of a home-and-home series in Pittsburgh.

Marian Hossa and Maxime Talbot also tallied, while Sidney Crosby added a pair of assists for the Penguins, who have won three straight and five of their last six.

Pittsburgh now has 99 points and are one ahead of idle Montreal for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Sabres 2 Bruins 1 (OT) — Andrej Sekera’s goal 39 seconds into overtime helped Buffalo to a dramatic victory over Boston.

Red Wings 1 Predators 0 (OT) — Johan Franzen scored the game-winning goal with 1:39 left in overtime and Dominik Hasek recorded his 81st career shutout as Detroit defeated Nashville.

Blackhawks 5 Blue Jackets 4 (SO) — Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all three Columbus shots in the shootout, and Chicago downed Columbus to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Sharks 3 Coyotes 1 — Joe Thornton scored twice, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 19 shots as San Jose continued their incredible surge with a 3-1 victory over Phoenix.

The Sharks are 17-0-2 in their last 19 games.