Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/15/12
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Matt Cooke scored a pair of goals and Sidney Crosby had an assist in a triumphant return to the lineup as the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 5-2 victory over the host New York Rangers on Thursday.

Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis also scored goals as the Penguins whittled Eastern Conference-leading New York's lead to four points with a game in hand.

Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 29 shots to win his eighth consecutive start and Pittsburgh improved to 24-0-2 when leading after two periods.

Crosby, rejoining the team after sitting out the past 40 games due to concussion-like symptoms, immediately provided a spark as the Penguins scored on his first shift since Dec. 5.

The 24-year-old superstar later picked up his 13th point in nine games this season when he assisted on Kunitz's goal that gave the Penguins a 4-2 lead at the 3:01 mark of the third period.

Carl Hagelin and Marian Gaborik scored goals for the Rangers, who lost for the fourth time in six games

After Cooke and Hagelin traded first-period goals, Pittsburgh stormed ahead with two goals in a 72-second span early in the second period.

Malkin beat Martin Biron for his 39th goal at the 1:19 mark before Cooke finished off a pretty passing play by redirecting Tyler Kennedy's pass into an open net.

Gaborik pulled New York within 3-2 12 minutes later, beating Fleury to the stick side for his 35th goal, but Kunitz restored the two-goal lead early in the third, taking a backhand pass from Crosby and beating Biron.
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