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Crosby leads Pens to SO win over Leafs

by Brian Compton
Sidney Crosby scored twice in regulation and again in the shootout, Brooks Orpik had three assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves as the Pens moved back into first place with a 5-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena on Sunday.

The outburst ended a seven-game goal-scoring drought for Crosby, who now leads the NHL with 47, one more than Alex Ovechkin. Crosby also scored in the second round of the shootout -- he's now 8-for-10 this season -- before Pascal Dupuis sealed the deal when he beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere (41 saves) in the following round.

"I've just tried to mix things up,'' Crosby said of his shootout success. ''Nowadays, everyone sees all the shootout goals and it's hard to mix it up, but you try to do the best you can to keep goaltenders guessing.''

Tyler Kennedy also scored as the Penguins moved ahead of the New Jersey Devils by two points in the Atlantic Division. Pittsburgh, which also won its second in two days after dropping three in a row and six of eight, has scored at least four goals in successive games after going nine in a row with three goals or fewer.

But the victory didn't come easily.

"If anything, we should be motivated by the position we're in right now," Crosby said. "I think we got caught trying to feel it out and see what they were going to do, and we found out pretty quickly they were going to come out hard."

The teams exchanged goals in the first period. Colton Orr opened the scoring when he banged Wayne Primeau's rebound past Fleury at 3:23 for his third goal of the season. But Pittsburgh responded just over six minutes later as Kennedy beat Giguere for his 11th tally.

Phil Kessel gave Toronto a 2-1 lead when he notched his 30th goal at 4:54 of the second. With the teams at even strength, Kessel took a pass from Nikolai Kulemin and let go a wrister that found its way past Fleury.

Crosby put Pittsburgh in front with a pair of goals just 3:14 apart. He notched No. 46 at 7:29 when he put Orpik's rebound past Giguere to make it 2-2. He then took over the League lead when he beat Giguere with a wrister from the left circle.

''Jean-Sebastien made a number of great saves and is probably the reason we got a point,'' Toronto coach Ron Wilson said.

The pesky Leafs tied the game before the second intermission as Carl Gunnarsson beat Fleury on a second attempt at 14:35. It was his third goal of the season.

"They won a lot of puck battles early," Pens coach Dan Bylsma said. "That's something we had to get better at and correct, because they were tenacious in the offensive zone. We had to pick up our game."

Tyler Bozak's power-play goal at 5:38 of the third gave the Leafs a 4-3 lead, and they were less than three minutes away from a win until Matt Cooke tied the game at 17:12, when he redirected Orpik's shot past Giguere for his 15th goal of the season.

"We had a tough start," Orpik said. "We've got a good group of forwards, so they make it pretty easy on us to get assists. We found a way to win."

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.

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