Crosby, the last of six shooters, squeezed a shot between Henrik Lundqvist's pads.
Pittsburgh erased a two-goal deficit with back-to-back short-handed goals by NHL leader Jordan Staal and Colby Armstrong, and forced overtime with defenseman Sergei Gonchar's goal with six minutes left in regulation.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves in his second straight strong start following a benching. He then turned aside Michael Nylander, Jaromir Jagr and Petr Prucha in the shootout. Nylander and Jagr had both scored in regulation for the Rangers, 2-3-2 in their past seven as they try to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Jagr nearly scored in the shootout, but fell to 0-for-4 this season when Fleury stopped him with his pads. The Rangers captain was roundly criticized for declining to take part in the tiebreaker against New Jersey on Feb. 22 when New York lost.
Blair Betts scored a power-play goal to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead, but Lundqvist - who made 30 saves - couldn't protect it.
Betts appeared to bail out the Rangers after they blew the lead while on the power play. He got to a loose puck that bounced to him in the slot and pinballed it through traffic past Fleury at 4:43. The goal came 58 seconds after Armstrong tied it during teammate Evgeni Malkin's penalty.
Jagr and Nylander netted goals 1:09 apart late in the second to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead that was gone less than four minutes into the third.
New York had led the NHL in fewest short-handed goals allowed with one through 61 games this season, but they have given up two each in two of the past three games. The Rangers squandered a key standings point in the process.
They are 11th in the Eastern Conference, three places and five points below the playoff cutoff with 18 games remaining.
Pittsburgh busted out of an offensive slump in a hurry, and avoided its third loss in four games following a 16-game point streak (14-0-2).
BOSTON - Scottie Upshall scored with 9.9 seconds left in overtime to lift Philadelphia over Boston, which got 51 saves from Tim Thomas.
Joni Pitkanen, R.J. Umberger and Mike Richards had the other Flyers' goals. Philadelphia snapped a five-game losing streak.
Mark Mowers ended his stretch of 27 games without a goal by scoring a pair for Boston, and defenseman Zdeno Chara had his 10th of the season.
Martin Biron, acquired from Buffalo on Tuesday for a second-round pick in the 2007 draft, made 34 saves in his Flyers' debut. He made a right pad save on Petr Tankrat's clean breakaway bid with just under 15 minutes to play.
Upshall, sent in on a partial breakaway on a pass from Pitkanen, slipped around defenseman Andrew Ference before shifting to his backhand and putting the puck behind Thomas for the game-winner.
The Bruins, outshot 55-37, have allowed more than 50 shots on goal in two of their last three games.
WASHINGTON - Nick Tarnasky scored the lone shootout goal in the 10th round, goalie Johan Holmqvist was perfect during the tiebreaker and Tampa Bay opened its longest road trip of the season with a victory.
Washington is 1-10 in shootouts.
Tampa Bay has points in 10 of 11 road games, going 9-1-1 in that span.
The Capitals have lost three straight and eight of nine.