OTTAWA (AP) -Sidney Crosby is making crucial contributions to the Pittsburgh Penguins' offense despite enduring one of the worst scoring slumps of his young career.
Crosby scored his third shootout goal in four games and Pittsburgh overcame a three-goal deficit for a 5-4 win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
Despite being held without a point for the fourth time in five games, Crosby scored on Pittsburgh's third shot against Ray Emery, who made a glove save off Evgeni Malkin after Eric Christensen beat him on the Penguins' first shootout attempt.
"I'm trying to (contribute) any way I can," Crosby said. "Obviously that's the easier way but you get a chance where basically, you score, you win, kind of thing. So I've had that opportunity a couple of times and I've tried to take advantage of it.
"Hopefully the time will come when I'll be able to do it 5-on-5 and in regulation, and obviously in the shootouts, when I need it."
Jocelyn Thibault stopped Dany Heatley and Antoine Vermette before Dean McAmmond scored on Ottawa's third attempt, forcing Crosby's decisive attempt.
"You just kind of wait to see what he does, try to be as patient as you can," Emery said. "I wasn't patient enough."
Crosby scored the winner in Thursday's 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers. He also scored in the shootout Sunday as Christensen got the winner in a 4-3 victory over Philadelphia.
"I know before Christmas he was having a hard time scoring in the shootout but we stuck with it and he practiced a lot," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "When the game's on the line those are the type of players you want to see performing and there's no doubt he's performing really well in the shootout."
Crosby, who leads the NHL with 98 points, was held without a point for the second straight game. The 19-year-old phenom has one assist - his 200th career point - in five games, matching the worst slump of his career.
"It's different when you're not getting chances or you're not able to create things, that's probably the most frustrating, but I think the chances have been there," said Crosby, who had eight shots in the game, including six in the first period. "It's just a matter of you're not getting breaks and getting some bad bounces. You go through those times and hope they'll last as short as possible."
Jordan Staal scored his NHL-leading seventh short-handed goal before he assisted on Ryan Malone's tying tally as Pittsburgh scored three times within 2:48 midway through the third to even it at 4.
After Staal beat Emery with an unassisted effort for his 27th of the season 9:22 into the third, Gary Roberts scored for the second straight game at 11:02 to cut Ottawa's lead to 4-3.
The 18-year-old Staal earned his ninth assist as Malone completed the comeback with his 14th goal at 12:10.
"We're a team that never quits," Therrien said. "I thought Jordan Staal's goal gave us some life. That was a huge goal. It's pretty amazing what that kid is capable of doing."
Pittsburgh's Colby Armstrong opened the scoring with his ninth goal on the Penguins' fourth shot 5:56 in.
Mike Fisher, Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly followed with three straight first-period goals for Ottawa, which chased Penguins starter Marc-Andre Fleury after the opening period despite being outshot 10-7.
Heatley beat Jocelyn Thibault for his team-leading 41st goal 4:32 into the second. The Senators' second power-play goal made it 4-1.
Daniel Alfredsson had two assists for the Senators, who lost their third in a row (0-1-2)
"We needed a big save or a big goal, or something, but it seems like the other team's been making the big plays later on in the game," Emery said.
Notes: Thibault stopped 15 of 16 shots. ... Staal, who was chosen second in last June's draft, had 28 goals last season in junior hockey with Peterborough. ... Crosby was also held to one assist in five games last season from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 2005, including his only three-game stretch without a point. ... Crosby has two assists in five games against Ottawa. ... Senators C Jason Spezza was a late scratch because of a sore back.
|Colby Armstrong (9) ASST: Ryan Malone (11), Rob Scuderi (10)|
1 - 0 PIT
|PPG - Mike Fisher (15) ASST: Peter Schaefer (26), Tom Preissing (27)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Christoph Schubert (6) ASST: Dean McAmmond (13), Oleg Saprykin (21)|
2 - 1 OTT
|SHG - Chris Kelly (13) ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (45), Anton Volchenkov (16)|
3 - 1 OTT
|PPG - Dany Heatley (41) ASST: Mike Comrie (19), Daniel Alfredsson (46)|
4 - 1 OTT
|SHG - Jordan Staal (27) ASST: NONE|
4 - 2 OTT
|Gary Roberts (15) ASST: Erik Christensen (10)|
4 - 3 OTT
|Ryan Malone (14) ASST: Jordan Staal (9), Georges Laraque (18)|
4 - 4 Tie
|1||D. Heatley||E. Christensen|
|2||A. Vermette||E. Malkin|
|3||D. McAmmond||S. Crosby|
|Power Play %||16.5%||21.4%|
|% on Road||15.6%||31.0%|
|% at Home||17.0%||14.6%|
|Anton Volchenkov Hooking against Evgeni Malkin|
|Georges Laraque Hooking against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Sidney Crosby Tripping against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Wade Redden Interference against Alain Nasreddine|
|Nisse Ekman Tripping against Peter Schaefer|
|Ryan Whitney Holding against Patrick Eaves|
|Ryan Whitney Tripping against Mike Comrie|
|Sidney Crosby Interference against Christoph Schubert|
|Wade Redden Roughing against Max Talbot|
|Max Talbot Cross checking against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Max Talbot Slashing against Wade Redden|
|Nisse Ekman Roughing against Joe Corvo|
|Dean McAmmond Holding against Max Talbot|
|Evgeni Malkin Charging against Anton Volchenkov|
|Chris Neil Slashing against Colby Armstrong|