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Crosby extends point streak as Pens handle Thrashers

Dec 29, 2010 - 5:13 AM
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 25 games with two goals and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Atlanta, 6-3, for their 16th win in 19 games.

Crosby scored both of his goals in the first period and had two assists in the third, giving him 50 points during a streak that dates back to November 5.

It was only the second time Crosby tallied four points during the run.

"It's nice when the puck's going in. It's always good to see that," said Crosby. "But you just try to focus on how you're playing, even when [the goals] are coming."

Craig Adams scored a shorthanded goal in the win, while Chris Kunitz, Mark Letestu and Matt Cooke also found the back of the net to help the Penguins bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Ottawa on Sunday.

Marc-Andre Fleury was good enough in net, stopping 31 of the 34 shots he faced.

Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Eric Boulton scored for the Thrashers, who have lost four in a row for the first time since April of last season. Ondrej Pavelec allowed all six Pittsburgh goals on 36 shots.

After Kane gave Carolina a 1-0 lead, Crosby scored on a power play midway through the first to tie it. He dug the puck out of the boards on the right side and headed to the net, where Kris Letang found him wide open for an easy one-timer.

Byfuglien scored on a power play, but Crosby netted his second goal with 1:26 remaining in the opening period, skating ahead of three Carolina defenders and beating Pavelec glove-side with a quick snap shot.

It was Crosby's NHL-leading 32nd goal of the season.

"No matter what the score is, we always have a chance to come back," said Fleury.

The Penguins took the lead for good on Adams' shorthanded effort in the middle of the second period. Matt Cooke centered a pass to him from behind the Carolina goal and Adams fired it in from close range to make it 3-2.

Pittsburgh's lead was as high as 6-2 after Kunitz, Letestu and Cooke scored in the first 16:16 of the third period. Boulton tallied with 3:09 remaining for the final margin.

"We had a good first 20 minutes and let it slip away," said Byfuglien. "We quit working and lost our one-on-one battles. They're a good team and you can't give them any room."

Crosby assisted on the goals by Kunitz and Cooke. Pittsburgh fans peppered the ice on the last one, thinking Crosby had scored a hat trick, but his slap shot from the blue line was deflected in by Cooke.

Game Notes

The Penguins have won 11 of 12 and 13 of the last 16 meetings between the teams...Atlanta has lost nine straight in Pittsburgh...Crosby has the NHL's longest point streak since 1992-93 when Mats Sundin put together a 30-gamer for the Quebec Nordiques.