The Pens' captain scored a goal and set up another, and his team matched the second-longest winning streak in franchise history, winning their 10th in a row by beating the New Jersey Devils 2-1 at CONSOL Energy Center on Monday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury, 11-0-1 in his last 12 starts, made 27 saves as the Penguins matched a 10-game winning streak from Jan. 28-Feb. 15, 1999. Their only longer streak was an NHL-record, 17-game run from March 9-April 10, 1993.
"A game like tonight probably could have went either way," Crosby said. "They did some good things. It's nice to win a close one like this. They're not always going to be big leads … you're going to have be forced to come back sometimes and play these type of games."
Crosby leads the NHL with 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points. He failed to get a hat trick for the third consecutive home game, but has nine goals in five games and six in three games.
Crosby's 16-game scoring streak (18 goals, 15 assists) is the league's longest this season and ties for the second longest of his career. He had a 19-game streak from Oct. 6-Nov. 17, 2007, but he already has three more points during this run.
The Penguins won their sixth in a row at home despite going 0-for-6 on the power play, including a two-man advantage that lasted 34 seconds early in the third period.
"It feels a little more relaxed," Fleury said. "Everyone is enjoying it. It was tough at the beginning, so it's nice to get some wins."
New Jersey (8-17-2) lost its fourth in five games despite Johan Hedberg's 32 saves. The Devils won the Atlantic Division three of the last four seasons.
"It's dangerous to take that many penalties against this team," New Jersey coach John MacLean said. "But when called upon, they did a nice job. We got one on the power play early and then just weren't able to generate another one. It would have been nice to get another one."
Crosby broke a 1-all tie in the second period, following up shots from the points by Alex Goligoski and Chris Kunitz. Goligoski's shot deflected to Crosby at the right side of the net, and his shot banked off defenseman Colin White's stick and past Hedberg.
"I just tried to get off to the side of the net and hoped something bounced over," Crosby said. "Chris tied up his guy in front and the rebound was able to come over there. It made it in there, and I was happy to see it go in."
Crosby missed a good chance for a second goal when his wrist shot struck the right post 7:30 into the third period. Crosby took a hooking penalty three minutes later, but New Jersey didn't score and finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
Crosby set up Pittsburgh's first goal, sailing a pass from along the left-wing boards to Chris Kunitz for a one-timer from the edge of the right circle at 15:41 of the first. Kunitz also assisted on Crosby's goal.
"I don't know if you get to appreciate how really quick he is," Hedberg said of Crosby. "He was behind both of their goals and probably was the difference."
New Jersey, winless in six consecutive road games, had taken a 1-0 lead 1:21 before that on Brian Rolston's first goal in 10 games.
With Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis off for hooking, Patrik Elias' shot from the right point deflected off Rolston's left wrist and fell to his feet, and Rolston lifted the puck inside the near post. Rolston clutched at his wrist as he celebrated his second goal.
"We're working hard, but it's still frustrating when you don't win," MacLean said. "You're not happy about not winning. The only thing that counts is the two points in the standings, and we didn't get them tonight."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
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