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Crosby on the board, but Pens forced to go distance

by Shawn P. Roarke /
MONTREAL -- Sidney Crosby’s Game 6 experience started wonderfully. It just didn’t end so well.

Less than eight minutes into the game, Crosby finally broke his series-long scoring drought, banging a bouncing puck in the slot past Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak. It was Crosby’s first goal against Montreal in this round and his first in eight games altogether, dating back to Game 5 of the first-round series against the Ottawa Senators.

But by the time the next 52 minutes had elapsed, Montreal had scored three unanswered goals to lay the foundation for a 4-3 win at a raucous Bell Centre that forces a Game 7 at Mellon Arena on Wednesday.

At the end of Game 6, Crosby was involved in a final-whistle scrum that saw him exchange unpleasantries with both defenseman Josh Gorges and forward Tomas Plekanec.

All told, Crosby played a team-high 26 minutes and 10 seconds, scoring a goal and adding an assist while finishing a plus-1. He also had three shots and another that missed the net. He was 11 of 23 in the faceoff circle, as well.

Q: What happened there in that scrum at the end of the game?

Crosby: It’s a scrum -- nothing out of the ordinary.

Q: When Halak gives up that goal up to (Kris) Letang -- he hasn’t given up many, if any, bad goals in this series -- are you guys on the bench thinking that maybe you have finally gotten to this guy?

Crosby: No. I don’t think we think like that. A goalie lets in a few bad ones. You try to do the right things and create chances, but I don’t think you ever think things like that. You try to beat goalies no matter how they are playing. I don’t think that was a terrible goal. He’s got a pretty good shot and he was in the slot and he beats him. I don’t think that is a terrible goal and I don’t think that is what is going through our mind. We just want to keep it going at that point. You get a lead, you want to build on it.

Q: You have had great success in Game 7s -- last year, the Olympics this year. Is there something about those games that brings out your best?

Crosby: I think you just try to make sure you are at your best in a Game 7. That’s all you can do because there are so many things that can happen. It’s one game, so you try to go out there and play your best, just like everyone else, and see where that brings you, see what the result is. You have to leave it all out there to give yourself the best chance.

Q: Did you feel any weight lifted off you after you got your goal?

Crosby: It was nice to see one go in. You work hard and you get chances, so yeah, for sure, it’s good and always feels good to score. But it wasn’t something that I kept thinking about or anything. You just keep trying to generate chances.
Q: Do you have a feeling you have a few more in this series in you?
Crosby: I hope so. We have one game left and it is the biggest one for both teams.
Q: You guys have had a lead in every game you have lost in this series. Is it time to be concerned about that now?

Crosby: I don’t think there is a time to be concerned about anything. I think anything that has happened in the past six games doesn’t really mean anything. You have to bear down and play your best game and that means playing for 60 minutes, whether you have the lead or not. If that is the case, for sure, that is something that can’t happen in a Game 7. You can’t give up leads. Sometimes you talk about teams that give up leads and they sit back and change their game and things like that. That’s not a result of that here at all. We just haven’t been able to get that extra one unfortunately. But it is not a lack of effort or changing our game. I think as long as you are focused on playing the right way and adding to that lead, you give yourself a pretty good chance.
Q: Was there a point when you thought the game changed?

Crosby: Well, they started to come a little harder after they got that third one. That’s pretty typical, though. A team gets the lead and they get momentum, especially here. They’re buzzing. I think that usually happens with everybody. At times, we carried the play and created some chances. It became, I think, more of a back and forth game at that point. I thought in the first half, we generated a little more than they did and then when they got that lead, it became more of a 50-50 game at that point.
Q: Was there a particular incident at the end of the game that angered you?

Crosby: No. It’s just Plekanec. It’s better to get that stuff out of the way anyway. We have hockey to play in Game 7.

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