CROSBY SCORES WITH 3.3 SECONDS LEFT AS PENGUINS DOWN RANGERS
Don't hold your breath waiting for Sidney Crosby's sophomore slump.
Crosby had a goal and three assists Thursday night, scoring the winner with 3.3 seconds remaining and lifting the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory over the New York Rangers.
The game was scoreless after one period before turning wild over the final 40 minutes. It went back and forth with each team finding the success that had been missing on the power play while neither managed more than a one-goal lead.
Online Sports Book Bodog.com has the Penguins listed as a huge underdog at +202 on the road in New York. Pittsburgh backers enjoyed a $202 payday with every $100 bet on Crosby's game winning goal.
``I asked our guys to find a way to win,'' Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. ``It got a little crazy, but we got the last shot and we got the win.''
In other NHL games on Thursday, it was Calgary 1, Ottawa 0; New Jersey 7, Toronto 6 in a shootout; St. Louis 3, Boston 2 in a shootout; Minnesota 3, Washington 2 in a shootout; Chicago 3, Nashville 1; Edmonton 6, San Jose 4; and Dallas 4, Los Angeles 1.
Crosby was exceptional, already building on his 102-point rookie year. In his first three games of season No. 2, the 19-year-old phenom has two goals and four assists. He helped set up goals by Kris Letang, Michel Ouellet and Ryan Whitney on Thursday.
He was looking for Ouellet again in the final seconds, when his pass into the crease struck Rangers defenseman Aaron Ward in front and caromed behind goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the power-play goal that won it for the Penguins, who were 4-for-9 with the man-advantage.
Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr was left hanging his head while Crosby happily skated across the ice and looked up at the board to see how timely his goal was.
``I knew it was like five seconds,'' said Crosby, who tied a career high with the four points. ``The last time I saw it, it was 10, and Rex (forward Mark Recchi) kind of handled it for a while at the top. I just knew I had to get it on net.''
After mustering an Eastern Conference-low 10 road wins last season, the Penguins are 1-0 away from the Steel City. They hit the road after splitting shutout decisions at home.
This one wasn't easy.
The Penguins made the most of their 22 shots, while giving up 42 to the Rangers.
Jordan Staal, the No. 2 pick in this year's draft, and Letang each scored their first NHL goals, while Whitney had his first two of the season.
New York got power-play goals from Adam Hall, Michael Nylander and Brendan Shanahan. Matt Cullen also scored and Jagr had a goal and two assists.
It wasn't enough for the Rangers, who dropped their second straight at home after a 2-0 start despite a 3-for-9 performance on the power play.
``We held the majority of the play,'' said Shanahan, whose 602 goals place him 14th on the NHL career list. ``We've got some work to do as a five-man unit and we've got some work to do on the special teams.''
Miikka Kiprusoff made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season and Jarome Iginla scored 11:25 into the third period for Calgary. Kiprusoff, who led the NHL last season with a franchise-record 10 shutouts, posted the 18th of his career in the Flames' first win in Ottawa since Oct. 28, 1999.
Ottawa has lost three straight at home since a season-opening 4-1 win in Toronto on Oct. 4.
Brian Gionta scored three goals in the third period, the last tying the game 6-6 with 37 seconds to play. He also scored in the shootout which the Devils won 2-1 in four rounds. John Madden scored twice in regulation as New Jersey overcame a five-goal second period by the Maple Leafs, which tied the record for most against the Devils at home.
Matt Stajan scored twice for Toronto, which led 6-3 entering the third period.
Lee Stempniak scored in regulation and then had the winning goal in the shootout to lift St. Louis in its home opener. Stempniak snapped a scoreless drought of 143:02 for St. Louis when he scored at 16:03 of the third period to make it 2-1. Jamal Mayers tied it on a rebound with 1:27 left in regulation.
Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron scored in regulation for the Bruins, who have dropped three of four on their season-opening, five-game road trip.
Mikko Koivu scored the only goal in the shootout as Minnesota remained undefeated. The Wild are off to the best start in the franchise's six-year history with all four victories by one goal - two by shootout, one in overtime and one with a late comeback.
Alexander Semin and Dainius Zubrus scored for Washington, which was playing for the first time in five days.
Jeff Hamilton scored on a tip-in with 7:40 left in the third period to snap a tie and Martin Havlat added an empty-net goal with 36 seconds left. Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves.
Jason Arnott scored for the Predators, who dropped to 0-3-0.
Ryan Smyth scored three goals in a 2:01 span early in the third period for Edmonton. The hurried hat trick broke Wayne Gretzky's franchise record for fastest three goals by 17 seconds and pushed Smyth over the 500-point mark for his career.
Jonathan Cheechoo had three goals for the Sharks, who were going for the first 4-0 start in franchise history.
Eric Lindros had three assists and Mike Modano had a goal and an assist to lead Dallas, which improved to 3-0.
Marty Turco was going for his 25th career shutout, but Raitis Ivanans scored his first NHL goal with 17:09 to play.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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