PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby ended a
seven-game stretch without a goal by scoring twice, then joined Pascal
Dupuis with shootout tallies as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat
the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Sunday.
The Penguins trailed 4-3 until Matt
Cooke deflected defenseman Brooks Orpik's slap shot from the right point
with 3:48 remaining in regulation. Orpik had his first three-point game
by also assisting on Crosby's NHL-leading 46th and 47th goals.
After Phil Kessel was turned aside by
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the shootout, Crosby converted for
the eighth time in 10 attempts by putting a wrist shot under the
crossbar. Fleury stopped Nikolai Kulemin's backhander before Dupuis — on
his first shootout attempt all season — also put a wrister by
Tyler Kennedy also scored as the
Penguins moved ahead of New Jersey 95-93 for the Atlantic Division lead
and the likely No. 2 seeding in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Both
teams went into Sunday's games with 93 points, but the Devils hold the
Pittsburgh won its second in two days
after dropping three in a row and six of eight.
Toronto, last in the conference but
the winner of nine of its previous 12, went ahead 4-3 when Tyler Bozak
scored on a power play created by Fleury's interference penalty 5:38
into the third. Fleury gave a hip check to Colton Orr as he skated out
from behind the net after previously tangling with Orpik and Kris
Crosby scored twice in a span of 3:14
in the second period after failing for the second time this season to
score in seven consecutive games.
Crosby, who leads Washington's Alex
Ovechkin 47-46 in the NHL goal-scoring race, tied it at two by scoring off
a rebound of Orpik's slap shot at 7:29 of the second. He gave
Pittsburgh the lead at 10:43 after winning a faceoff in the Maple Leafs
zone. The puck deflected off the side boards to Orpik, who fed it to
back to Crosby for a wrist shot from the lower right circle.
Crosby also scored for the first time
in the 12 games Evgeni Malkin has missed due to injury. Malkin (bruised
right foot) sat out for the sixth time in seven games.
Giguere made 41 saves while starting
instead of Jonas Gustavsson, who won his seventh in a row Saturday as
the Maple Leafs rallied to beat the New York Rangers 3-2. Pittsburgh
outshot Toronto 45-29.
Orr, Kessel and Carl Gunnarsson also
scored for Toronto. Kessel scored his 30th on a seemingly harmless wrist
shot from the high slot nearly five minutes into the second. Fleury
gave up a similarly soft goal to Philadelphia's Arron Asham on Saturday,
the only score he gave up in Pittsburgh's 4-1 victory.
Pittsburgh is 8-2 in
shootouts. Toronto is 4-4. … Penguins D Sergei Gonchar (illness)
missed his third in a row. … Crosby also didn't score in seven games
between Oct. 30 and Nov. 12. … Pittsburgh won three of four in the
season series. … The Penguins have scored at least four goals in
successive games after going nine in a row with three goals or fewer.