for this game

Crosby helps power Penguins past Panthers

Jan 9, 2008 - 4:55 AM
By Rick Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Everything is all right for captain Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Crosby scored a goal and set up another as the Penguins posted a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Petr Sykora and tough guy Georges Laraque also tallied for Pittsburgh, which has won seven straight games - its longest winning streak since reeling off 10 in a row from January 28-February 15, 1999.

"You have to play good, consistent hockey to do what we have been doing," Crosby said. "It's hard to pinpoint any one thing. It's just a matter of working hard and executing."

It also was the Penguins' second consecutive win over the Panthers, whom they defeated, 3-0, on Saturday. Crosby also had a goal and an assist in that contest and now has five tallies and 14 points in 10 career games against Florida.

In this one, Pittsburgh used a span of just over three minutes in the second period to take control of the game.

"We were aggressive and really sharp in the second period," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We really started to gain some momentum and we stuck with the game plan."

With the puck on his stick just behind the net during a power play, Crosby took a step forward before delivering a cross-crease pass to Sykora, who swatted the puck between the pads of goaltender Tomas Vokoun to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead with 9:55 left in the middle session.

"We just kept pressuring them (on the power play) and were rewarded," Crosby said. "We've been executing at the right time."

It was Sykora's seventh man-advantage tally of the season, tying him with Evgeni Malkin for the team lead.

It also was the league-leading 41st assist for Crosby, who extended his points streak to nine games with the assist and doubled the lead just 76 seconds later.

The reigning Hart Trophy winner received a pass from Ryan Malone in the neutral zone and raced up the ice before splitting two defenders and wristing a shot past Vokoun with 8:39 left.

"Sometimes it's bang-bang like that," Crosby said. "You have them on their heels after the first (goal) and are able to take advantage."

It was the 18th goal of the season for Crosby, who led all players in voting for the NHL All-Star Game, which will be played on January 27 in Atlanta.

Less than two minutes later, Jeff Taffe unleashed a shot from the right side of the net that ricocheted off the far goalpost to Laraque, who was hovering on the doorstep. The enforcer punched in the puck at 13:11 for his third goal of the season.

"We scored in bunches, and that never hurts," Crosby said. "We were fortunate to strike quickly like we did."

The three tallies over a 3:06 stretch ended the night early for Vokoun, who was replaced by Craig Anderson.

"Tomas has been strong, none of those goals were his fault," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "We just felt like that was the time to make the change and try to offset their momentum."

Ty Conklin, who stopped 27 shots, was in line for his fifth career shutout before Gregory Campbell scored a shorthanded goal with 4:09 remaining. Conklin, who has been in net for each game during the Penguins' winning streak, improved to 4-0-0 lifetime vs. the Panthers.

"It's nice whenever you are winning and the team is playing well," Conklin said. "We're just doing a lot of the little things right now, and the breaks are going our way."

Vokoun made 20 saves in just over 28 minutes of play and Anderson turned aside 12 shots for Florida, which has dropped four straight to Pittsburgh after winning 14 of the previous 15 meetings.

"We just have to keep plugging away," said Florida's Stephen Weiss, who just moments before Pittsburgh's surge barely missed a breakaway goal of his own. "Things just aren't going our way right now."

Captain Olli Jokinen has run out of answers for the Panthers' downward spiral of late.

"I think you guys better ask someone else," said Jokinen, whose team has lost four of its last five overall. "I've run out of reasons for it."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 3 0 3
    FLORIDA 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 13 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN)
    10:05
    PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 18 (RYAN MALONE, SERGEI GONCHAR) 11:21
    PIT - GEORGES LARAQUE 3 (JEFF TAFFE, ADAM HALL) 13:11
    3RD PRD: FLA - (SH) GREGOR

    Jan 8 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    FLORIDA 1
    3RD PRD: FLA - (SH) GREGORY CAMPBELL 3 (RADEK DVORAK, RUSLAN SALEI)
    15:51

    Penguins vs. PanthersJan 8 9:51 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 3 3
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 13 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN)
    10:05
    PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 18 (RYAN MALONE, SERGEI GONCHAR) 11:21
    PIT - GEORGES LARAQUE 3 (JEFF TAFFE, ADAM HALL) 13:11
    SHOTS ON GOAL

    Jan 8 9:02 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    FLORIDA 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - GEORGES LARAQUE 3 (JEFF TAFFE, ADAM HALL) 13:11

    Penguins vs. PanthersJan 8 8:53 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    FLORIDA 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 18 (RYAN MALONE, SERGEI GONCHAR) 11:21

    Penguins vs. PanthersJan 8 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    FLORIDA 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 13 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN)
    10:05

    Penguins vs. PanthersJan 8 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    FLORIDA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 10 10
    FLA 7 7
    GOALIES: PIT - TY CONKLIN
    FLA - TOMAS VOKOUN

    Jan 8 8:09 PM