Crosby, Penguins hope to build off momentum - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Crosby, Penguins hope to build off momentum

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Tampa Bay (7-16-9) at Pittsburgh (18-11-4), 7:30 pm EST

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- With captain Sidney Crosby marred in the

longest goal-scoring slump of his career, the Pittsburgh

Penguins struggled.

Now that a controversial goal ended that stretch, Crosby and the

Penguins will hope to start climbing back up the Eastern

Conference standings when they host the lowly Tampa Bay

Lightning on Tuesday.

Crosby deflected in the game-winner just 43 seconds into

overtime Monday to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-3 victory over the

Buffalo Sabres. Evgeni Malkin received a pass from Alex

Goligoski and one-timed a fluttering shot that Crosby redirected

past Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.

"He sure did score a good one," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien

said of Crosby. "Those players are our game-breakers, I thought

he deserved that goal. We were managing the puck real well and

we found a way to come back after trailing in the second

(period)."

The 21-year-old Crosby, who did not have a goal in the previous

nine games, may have deflected the puck with his stick above the

crossbar - which would have nullified the goal - but the play

was reviewed and upheld.

"A little (doubt). I didn't see the replay but I thought my

stick was on an angle down," Crosby said. "If it was up I would

have been a little more worried but it was down. I didn't think

I raised it quite above the crossbar."

Before Crosby's heroics, the Penguins had posted a 3-5-1 record

this month and dropped to seventh in the conference standings.

The Lightning have struggled all season, collecting an NHL-low

23 points.

Tampa Bay has lost 12 of its last 13 contests, including

Saturday's 4-3 setback to the Atlanta Thrashers.

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