GLENDALE, Ariz. – By the third period, an apparent injury to Sidney Crosby had him sitting on the bench.
The rest of the Penguins defence might just as well have been sitting next to him. Shane Doan scored twice and added an assist, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat Pittsburgh 4-1 on Thursday night. Olli Jokinen also scored, Steven Reinprecht and Zbynek Michalek each had two assists and Ilya Bryzgalov made 27 saves for Phoenix.
“I had some discomfort,” said Crosby, who left the game with less than five minutes left in the second period. “I decided that in the third period, it didn’t seem like I could do much.”
What happened to Crosby is unclear. Television replays showed Crosby skate to the Penguins bench, sit down with a grimace and try to collect himself.
Per team policy, the Penguins did not disclose details of Crosby’s injury. Neither did Crosby.
“Honestly, I don’t even know what happened,” Crosby said. “I have to look at the tape. I haven’t seen anything yet.”
Phoenix’s 4-4 start is its best since opening the 2003-04 season at 3-3-2.
“The more we get guys scoring the better off we are,” Doan said.
Miroslav Satan scored his team-leading fifth goal for the Penguins, but sat out the final 10 minutes after picking up a misconduct penalty after arguing a hooking call.
The Penguins have lost two straight.
“The system’s only 50 per cent of the game,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “After that, the players have to play hard. It’s an excuse.”
Doan broke a 1-1 tie with 2:01 left in the second period when he took a pass from Reinprecht and scored into the open left side of the net.
“I wanted to help the team win,” said Reinprecht, who had been a healthy scratch the past two games for the first time in his career. “I wanted to help the team win and we were able to put together a pretty solid 60 minutes.”
Kevin Porter made it 3-1 with 5:01 remaining on his first NHL goal, taking a pass from Reinprecht and slipping the puck past Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s blocker.
“He did all the work and I just tapped it in,” Porter said. “It couldn’t be easier for a first goal.”
After a scoreless first period, Jokinen gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 7:53 of the second period when he scored off a backhand feed from Doan.
Satan tied the game at 8:30 of the period when Evgeni Malkin’s shot from the point ricocheted off the glass behind the Coyotes goal and landed in front of Bryzgalov for the tap-in power-play goal.
The goal came just 11 seconds into a power play and was the Penguins’ first road goal with the man-advantage in 15 tries this season.
Doan added an empty-net goal with 58.2 seconds left.
“He played so hard,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said of Doan. “He was competing at a feverish pitch. When he got the goal, it was a big pick-me-up for him.”
Notes: Jokinen has 31 points in 37 career games against Pittsburgh. … The Penguins had won three straight against the Coyotes. … Pittsburgh went more than 15 minutes before recording its first shot on goal and finished the first period with two.