Sabres
Penguins
4 - 5 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Crosby's shootout goal caps momentous day for Penguins

Mar 14, 2007 - 5:40 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- After receiving the best news possible earlier in the day, Pittsburgh Penguins fans were given another reason to celebrate by Sidney Crosby.

Crosby had a goal and two assists in regulation before scoring the deciding goal in the third round of the shootout as the Penguins recorded a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres.

With the victory, Pittsburgh (38-21-10) remained one point behind Ottawa (40-23-7) for fourth place in the East.

A week after the prospect of remaining in the Steel City was all but diminished, the Penguins reached an agreement for a new arena with state and city officials, ensuring they will play in Pittsburgh for at least the next 30 years.

With that burden lifted from their shoulders, the Penguins battled the conference's top team tooth and nail for two periods before power-play goals by Crosby and defenseman Sergei Gonchar created a 4-2 lead midway through the third.

"It's exciting when you skate on the ice with the energy that was in the building tonight," Crosby said. "I think everyone's relieved, including us, that everything's done and we can put it past us and look forward. We're all happy for that, and the fans obviously showed it tonight."

"It's such a great city to play in," Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney added. "Everyone couldn't be happier. We're so pumped to be here for a long time and hopefully win championships here."

However, Daniel Briere halved the deficit with 7:14 remaining and fed fellow co-captain Chris Drury for the tying goal with seven seconds to go, sending the game to overtime.

"It was frustrating," Whitney said. "You could see everyone out there was pretty upset, but at the same time, we got the two points. We're a young team and we obviously don't want to do that too much, but we came back and got the two points, which was really important."

After a scoreless extra session, Erik Christensen gave Pittsburgh the lead in the shootout, deking and sliding a backhander around goaltender Ryan Miller on the Penguins' first opportunity. But rookie Drew Stafford drew Buffalo even in the second round, beating netminder Marc-Andre Fleury to the stick side with a hard wrist shot.

Entering 4-for-13 this season in shootouts, with three of the goals being decisive ones, Crosby added to the total by deking and sliding the puck past Miller. Fleury denied Thomas Vanek with a right pad save on the Sabres' final chance, sealing the win.

"At the beginning of the year, we had a tough time (in shootouts), but lately, things have been going our way," Fleury said. "At first, I hated them, but lately, it's been pretty fun."

"It was tough to let that goal in with (seven seconds left), but we found a way again," Crosby said.

Ryan Malone and Maxime Talbot scored and Whitney collected three assists for Pittsburgh, which has gone beyond regulation in each of the last five games and six of the last seven. Of the Penguins' last 16 contests, 15 have been one-goal decisions (11-3-1).

"We deserved to win tonight," said Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien, who returned to the Penguins' bench after missing Saturday's game due to the death of his father. "I think we had the right attitude starting the game. It was the No. 1 team in the conference, it was a huge test. ... We played really solid, probably one of the best games from our team in a long time."

Briere added two assists and Jochen Hecht set up three tallies for the Sabres (44-19-6), who have lost four straight but moved two points ahead of the idle New Jersey Devils (42-19-8) for first in the East.

"We managed to come back and get a point, Buffalo's Jason Pominville said. "We know how dangerous we can be if we start it up and get going again. ... It was a good point tonight. We found a way to come back, like we did earlier in the year. But we know we can do better."

"There were shifts where we dominated, and then it was gone. Where it went, I don't know," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We have to give them some credit for how they skated and how hard they worked, but we have to also take some of the blame."

Pominville gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with 3:33 to go in the first period, but Malone tallied 41 seconds later to draw Pittsburgh even and Talbot scored with 3:27 left in the second to put Pittsburgh ahead.

Defenseman Dmitri Kalinin tied it at 2-2 with his sixth of the season with 1:43 remaining in the period before the Penguins cashed in on a pair of man advantages in the third.

Just 78 seconds into the session, Crosby redirected Mark Recchi's shot from the slot past Miller for a 3-2 lead.

"It was just a bouncing puck and it went off my stick and in," Crosby said. "You've got to be in the right spot, so I was happy to get it."

The 19-year-old superstar collected his league-leading 103rd point with an assist on the tally by Gonchar, whose one-timer from the blue line deflected off Buffalo defenseman Toni Lydman's stick and by Miller at 10:308 for a two-goal bulge.

Briere began the Sabres' comeback when he received a chip pass from Hecht and beat Fleury to the glove side on a breakaway. With time running out, Briere passed from behind the net to Drury, who scored from the doorstep to force overtime.

"I just wanted to get by (Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar) and get it to the slot," Briere said. "I knew we had one or two guys in that area. Chris Drury was able to get a stick on it."

"I don't think it was a huge mistake on anyone's part, they just found a hole because they had an extra guy out there," Crosby said. "You don't want shots coming from that area, especially late in the game, but they're good players and it's going to happen."








  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1 2 0 (1) 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 0 (2) 5 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 28 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE)
    16:27
    PIT - RYAN MALONE 15 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 17:08
    2ND PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 10 (ALAIN NASREDDINE

    Mar 13 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1 2 0 (1) 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 0 (2) 5 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 28 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE)
    16:27
    PIT - RYAN MALONE 15 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 17:08
    2ND PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 10 (ALAIN NASREDDINE

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 10:26 PM
  • 80
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 10:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1 2 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 4 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 28 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE)
    16:27
    PIT - RYAN MALONE 15 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 17:08
    2ND PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 10 (ALAIN NASREDDINE, RYAN WHITNEY)
    16:33
    BUF - DM

    Mar 13 10:13 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: BUF - CHRIS DRURY 34 (DANIEL BRIERE, JOCHEN HECHT) 19:53

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 10:12 PM
  • 65
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 65 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: BUF - DANIEL BRIERE 29 (JOCHEN HECHT, JASON POMINVILLE) 12:46

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 13 (RYAN WHITNEY, SIDNEY CROSBY)
    10:38

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) SIDNEY CROSBY 29 (MARK RECCHI, RYAN WHITNEY) 1:18

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 28 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE)
    16:27
    PIT - RYAN MALONE 15 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 17:08
    2ND PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 10 (ALAIN NASREDDINE, RYAN WHITNEY)
    16:33
    BUF - DMIT

    Mar 13 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 6 (CHRIS DRURY, MICHAEL RYAN) 18:17

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 10 (ALAIN NASREDDINE) 16:33

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 28 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE)
    16:27
    PIT - RYAN MALONE 15 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 17:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 9

    Mar 13 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - RYAN MALONE 15 (SERGEI GONCHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 17:08

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 28 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE) 16:27

    Sabres vs. PenguinsMar 13 8:10 PM