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At the Rink blog

Crosby still searching for peak form

Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 1:12 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Crosby still searching for peak form
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who was held off the scoresheet Thursday against Washington for the second time in six games this season, is still finding his comfort level following his long absence with post-concussion symptoms.

"Some things are right where they need to be, other things aren't as consistent," the Penguins captain said. "Some things aren't near where they need to be. It's doing it over the course of the season."

After scoring twice in his first game back, Crosby hasn't found the net in the Penguins past five games.

"Finishing is one thing that takes a lot of focus,” he said. “You've got a split second to put a shot where you want to and you've got guys on you. It takes time getting into those areas and comfortable. That's something I want to improve on. I know it's going to take some time getting back into things."

The Penguins will turn to backup goaltender Brent Johnson tonight against Carolina. He will be looking for his second win of the season (1-3-2).

Carolina coach Kirk Muller did not confirm a starter in goal.

Here’s a look at the projected lineups for both teams in their matchup Saturday night at RBC Center:

PITTSBURGH

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
James Neal - Evgeni Malkin - Steve Sullivan
Matt CookeJordan StaalTyler Kennedy
Craig AdamsRichard ParkArron Asham

Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland
Robert Bortuzzo - Simon Despres

Brent Johnson
Marc-Andre Fleury

CAROLINA

Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jussi Jokinen - Chad LaRose
Jiri Tlusty - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Anthony Stewart - Tim Brent - Andreas Nodl

Bryan Allen - Tomas Kaberle
Tim Gleason - Justin Faulk
Joni Pitkanen - Derek Joslin

Cam Ward
Brian Boucher
Quote of the Day

We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.

— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday
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