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Crosby propels Penguins to sixth straight win

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Captain Sidney Crosby scored the only

goal in the shootout Sunday as the surging Pittsburgh Penguins

defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3, for their sixth straight

victory.

Crosby, who also opened the scoring 4:29 into the contest, beat

goaltender Jose Theodore with a wrist shot underneath the

crossbar during the second round of the bonus format.

The game-winner completed a 5-0-0 road trip for the Penguins,

who prevailed despite squandering a 3-1 lead in the first two

minutes of the third period.

"It's been a long trip for us, but we wanted to get the two

points after working hard, especially for two periods," Crosby

said.

"We had some power plays, we just weren't able to capitalize. If

we let them hang around and don't take advantage of those

chances, they are going to get momentum."

Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury recorded 28 saves, then

stopped Alexander Semin, Viktor Kozlov and reigning Hart Trophy

winner Alex Ovechkin in the shootout.

The Penguins improved to 8-1-1 under Dan Bylsma, the best

10-game start for any coach in Pittsburgh history.

"The whole road trip was just the way we drew it up," Bylsma

said. "We talked about this before the game. We've seen our guys

deal with giving up leads in tough buildings."

The win left five teams virtually tied in the tightly bunched

Eastern Conference race. With 76 points, the Penguins (35-26-6)

tied Florida and the New York Rangers for fifth in the East -

one point ahead of Montreal and Carolina.

Ovechkin began the Capitals' comeback with his 47th goal of the

season on the power play just 29 seconds into the third period.

"We have to look at this game as a positive because I think

we're on our way back up," said Capitals center Brooks Laich,

whose breakaway goal tied the contest 78 seconds into the third.

"We got back to working and tightened up defensively. I think we

gave them 20-21 shots (actually, 22). When we were losing, we

were giving up 34-36. I thought we did a better job. We

controlled their top guys."

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar and recently acquired Bill Guerin

tallied in the second period to give Pittsburgh its two-goal

advantage.

"I don't think we lost focus," Crosby added. "They played well.

We just had to come up with some big plays defensively."

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