Crosby ends slump in OT as Pens even East
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[May 17, 2016]
(The Sports Xchange) - Sidney Crosby
scored his first goal in nine games 40 seconds into overtime as the
Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Game Two of the
Eastern Conference finals on Monday to even the series.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) looks to center the puck against
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) and goalie Andrei
Vasilevskiy (88) during the third period in game two of the Eastern
Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy
Center. Pittsburgh won 3-2 in OT.Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY
The Penguins, who squandered a two-goal lead before getting the
winner in overtime, now head to Tampa for Game 3 in the
best-of-seven series on Wednesday.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan shook up his lines late in the game to
try to get his stars going, and Crosby came through by putting a
shot under the crossbar to win it.
Pittsburgh pressed from the start of the extra period, and Crosby
emerged with his first overtime goal in 113 playoff games.
Matt Murray won the battle of 21-year-old backup goaltenders, making
19 saves and not allowing a goal after giving up two in a span of
2:33 in the first period.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was exceptional, making 38
saves, but it was not good enough.
Pittsburgh took all three of the shots in OT.
The Penguins got off to exactly the start they wanted in what could
be viewed as a must-win game, getting goals from Matt Cullen and
Phil Kessel less than 10 minutes in.
However, with Vasilevskiy turning aside several more excellent
scoring chances -- including Bryan Rust on a rush off the opening
faceoff -- the Lightning came back after killing off Alex Killorn's
holding penalty at 13:23.
Defenseman Anton Stralman, back in the lineup for the first time
since breaking his left leg on March 25, got the comeback started by
gathering a bouncing puck and lifting it under the crossbar at
Stralman needed only a moment to get open, and that occurred when
Crosby and Conor Sheary bumped into each other just as Crosby was
skating toward Stralman, who scored his fifth goal in four games
against Pittsburgh this season.
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Jonathan Drouin tied it 2:33 later, taking J.T. Brown's pass at
mid-ice, skating to the top of the left circle for a wrist shot and
beating Murray inside the far post.
Drouin, in the lineup because of Steven Stamkos' injury, has 11
points in 12 playoff games after getting 10 in 21 regular season
Neither team scored in the second, when Murray kept the score tied
with an excellent save on Killorn late in the period.
Cullen, who is having an excellent postseason for Pittsburgh at age
39, scored his fourth of the playoffs at 4:32 of the first, off a
rebound of an Eric Fehr shot.
Kessel scored his 19th goal in 35 playoff games -- and sixth of
these playoffs -- about five minutes later after Carl Hagelin's shot
rebounded to Nick Bonino, whose pass deflected off Lightning
defenseman Andrej Sustr's skate directly to Kessel.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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