The New York Rangers might not be the best team in the National Hockey League, but no team is playing any better.
The Rangers overcame a strong performance by Bryan Trottier to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, Wednesday night at New York to extend their unbeaten string to eight games (7-0-1).
The Rangers, just back from a five-game trip in which their only blemish was a tie, have the best record in the league (35-17-2) and an eight-point lead in the Patrick Division.
Trottier, 35, has been used sparingly this season, but with the latest injury to Mario Lemieux, he is centering a line with high-scoring wings Mark Recchi and Kevin Stevens.
Trottier had a goal and two assists and the Penguins built a 3-2 lead in the second period. But Tim Kerr tied it in the same period.
The winning goal was scored by Adam Graves with the Rangers shorthanded at 8:31 of the final period.
Trottier, who had only five goals and six assists in the first 35 games, has four goals and six assists in the last four games.
Detroit 4, Washington 1--Twice last week, Red Wing goaltender Tim Cheveldae was so ineffective he had to be removed in the middle of the game, but he stopped the first 24 shots the Capitals fired.
Bob Probert had a goal and assist in the first period at Detroit as the Red Wings, who ended a four-game winless streak, jumped ahead, 2-0.
Monday night against Pittsburgh, the Red Wings had given Cheveldae only his second game off this season. He has started 50.
Toronto 3, Minnesota 2--The Maple Leafs went into overtime at Toronto with a two-man advantage. It took them only 18 seconds to free Wendel Clark for his 14th goal and their fifth victory in the last six games.
Edmonton 2, Montreal 1--Vic Damphousse scored twice at Edmonton and the Oilers won their second in a row on the five-game home stand.
It was the fourth loss in five games for the Canadiens, who still have an eight-point lead in the Adams Division.
Calgary 5, Quebec 3--The Nordiques, seeking their first victory on the road this season, built a 3-2 lead at Calgary, then fell apart again.
Mark Osiecki scored the go-ahead goal four minutes into the last period.
The Nordiques are 0-26-5 on the road.
San Jose 5, Chicago 2--Paul Fenton, one night after scoring a game-winning goal in the final seconds, scored two goals and San Jose's Jeff Hackett stopped 37 shots at Daly City as the Sharks pulled even with Quebec for the NHL's lowest point total with 30.