Crosby, Penguins hope to build off momentum

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

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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.