x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Crosby ends scoring drought with overtime winner

Sidney Crosby scores 43 seconds into overtime to end a nine-game goal-scoring drought and lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Sabres.

NEW YORK // Sidney Crosby scored 43 seconds into overtime to end a nine-game goal-scoring drought and lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. Crosby tipped a shot from Evgeni Malkin past the Buffalo goalkeeper Ryan Miller for the winner, which had to withstand a two-minute video review to ensure Crosby's stick was not over the crossbar when he touched the puck.

"My stick was angled down. If I would have hit it a little higher up, I think we would have been flirting with danger a little bit more," Crosby said. "It was pretty close. "I thought we deserved to win. Hopefully, we can build from this." The goal snapped the longest scoring drought of Crosby's four-year career, although the NHL's second leading scorer had 12 assists over that span. He scored a hat-trick on Nov 29 against New Jersey, but had not notched a goal since then.

The Penguins had to rally from a two-goal deficit to force overtime as they won for just the third time in eight games. They were coming off one of their worst performances of the season, an embarrassing 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. "We are managing the puck really well and we found a way to come back," the Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "To be able to win that game in overtime, it's a big boost of confidence.

"We were terrible in our last game so to come back like we did tonight shows some character. It was a good win for us." Alex Goligoski scored twice and added an assist, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for the Penguins. Pascal Dupuis had the other goal for the winners while Malkin, the NHL's points leader, added three assists. Ales Kotalik and Daniel Paille had a goal and assist each for the Sabres and Clarke MacArthur scored the other goal.

"Not much you can do when you lose a game on a goal like that," the Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We played hard, so it was a tough break." *Reuters