The Penguins and their captain both extended streaks on Saturday. Sid's assist on Alex Goligoski's third-period goal lengthened his points streak to 18 games, and Goligoski's goal proved to be the winner as Pittsburgh made it 12 consecutive victories by beating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2.
The 18-game streak is one short of Crosby's career best, set in October and November of 2007. He has 36 points (20 goals and 16 assists) during this one and can match his career-best when the Penguins visit Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Another Penguin also extended a streak. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots to win his 11th game in a row. He's 13-0-1 in his last 14 appearances, including a 1-0 win on Nov. 24. In all, he stopped 64 of 66 shots at HSBC Arena this season.
"I like to play here. It's a fun building," Fleury said. "Like every night the guys are doing a great job of blocking shots and taking rebounds away. That's a big help."
The Penguins (21-8-2) maintained their lead atop the overall NHL standings and matched a franchise-best by winning their seventh consecutive road game.
"We were talking before the game that none of us have had an opportunity to win 12 in a row," coach Dan Bylsma said. "It feels good to get it. We're going to put this one behind us and move on to the next one as quickly as we can."
As happens with any team on a roll, contributions come from unlikely sources. On Saturday, that meant recent callup Dustin Jeffrey, who scored the game's first goal at 13:17 of the first period and set up Mike Rupp's goal with 3:17 left in the game that made it 4-2.
"Jeffrey gets his first game of the year and starts us off with a goal," Bylsma said. "He goes to the net and gets the goal. They got a huge goal with three minutes left. They got to the offensive zone and had guys in the blue paint. That one sealed the deal for us
The Penguins started out as if they were going to coast to another win, as they did in Wednesday's 5-2 victory against Toronto. Goals by Jeffrey and Asham made it 2-0 before the first period was 10 minutes old.
The Sabres got one back at 15:49 by capitalizing on a two-man advantage. Fleury blocked Tyler Ennis' centering pass, but the puck landed directly on Ennis' stick and flipped it in the open side.
Crosby had several chances to extend his four-goal goal-scoring streak in the second period, but couldn't beat Ryan Miller. He had Miller down on a breakaway at one point but put a backhander over the net. Less than three minutes later, Crosby sneaked behind the defense and had a partial break from the right circle. Miller got a glove on his initial shot, then closed his pads to stop the rebound.
But Crosby extended his points streak by starting the play that led to Goligoski's goal with 7:51 left in regulation, a bad-angled shot that appeared to deflect into the net off defenseman Jordan Leopold.
Jason Pominville made it a one-goal game again just 51 seconds later, but Rupp's goal gave the Penguins some breathing room and Matt Cooke's empty-netter wrapped up win No. 12.
"We created some turnovers, we didn't finish," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "Give them credit - they took advantage of the turnovers."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.
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