Heralded rookie Sidney Crosby is doing everything the Pittsburgh Penguins hoped he would, except getting them their first win.
Already among the league leaders in points, Crosby will try to help the Penguins snap a season-opening four-game winless streak when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.
Crosby has at least one point in each of his first four games, including an assist in Monday's 3-2 overtime loss at Buffalo. The 18-year-old center, expected to be the league's next elite player, was ranked fifth in the league in points through Wednesday.
However, neither he nor 40-year-old teammate Mario Lemieux has been able to lift the Penguins to victory. Pittsburgh has lost once in regulation, twice in overtime and once in a shootout.
"The bottom line is, we've got to find a way to win a game," Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk said. "The lack of wins hasn''t been from effort or work; maybe it's just a matter of working a little smarter."
The schedule doesn't get any easier for Pittsburgh. After taking on the Flyers, the Penguins meet defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay at home Saturday, followed by New Jersey at home and Boston on the road next week.
"I think the urgency and the desperation have gone up," Olczyk said. "We've gotten points in three straight games and we've had opportunities, now we need the consistency aspect. In order to win in this league, you've got to play 60 minutes, and I have the utmost confidence we'll do that."
This isn't the longest winless stretch of Crosby's pro career. His Rimouski Oceanic junior team went seven consecutive games without winning last season.
"But we won 35 in a row after that," he said optimistically.
The Flyers have just one win in three games due mainly to their specialty teams. Entering Wednesday, Philadelphia ranked last in the league on the power play and 27th in penalty killing.
Former Flyer Eric Lindros scored to help Toronto to a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne scored for the Flyers, who scored short-handed but went 0-for-4 on the power play, dropping them to 1-for-19 on the young season.
TEAM LEADERS: Penguins - Zigmund Palffy, 3 goals; Crosby, 5 assists; Mark Recchi and Crosby, 6 points; Dick Tarnstrom, 8 PIM. Flyers - Gagne, 4 goals; Peter Forsberg, 5 assists; Gagne and Forsberg, 5 points; Knuble and Jon Sim, 6 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 12): Penguins - Power play: 16.1 percent (5 for 31), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (23 for 27), 14th. Flyers - Power play: 5.3 percent (1 for 19), 30th. Penalty killing: 73.7 percent (14 for 19), 27th.