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Crosby scores twice to help Penguins defeat Panthers

Murray makes 43 saves in win; Huberdeau gets two goals for Florida

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- When it comes to Sidney Crosby, nothing surprises Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

 

[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Penguins highlights]

 

That was the case again Saturday, when Crosby scored twice on sharp-angle deflections and helped the Penguins defeat the Florida Panthers 4-3 at PPG Paints Arena.

"It doesn't surprise me because I see him do it all the time," Sullivan said. "I think he's the best in the game in and around that net, in close. … He's in the battle areas all the time."

After Patric Hornqvist gave Pittsburgh its third one-goal lead of the game with 6:24 remaining in the second period, Crosby parked himself along the goal line and deflected a shot from Kris Letang through goalie James Reimer to make it 4-2 at 1:59 of the third. He used a similar deflection during a power play on a shot from Phil Kessel to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 6:46 of the first period.

Video: FLA@PIT: Hornqvist tucks in a goal from the crease

Crosby's second goal proved to be the game-winner after Aaron Ekblad's slap shot into the upper left corner of the net made it 4-3 at 6:18 of the third.

"We had some really good looks," said Crosby, the Penguins' captain. "We had three 2-on-1s, at least, tonight. Sometimes you go two, three games without getting a 2-on-1. … We did some pretty good things on them. We executed well."

Crosby tied Conor Sheary for the Penguins lead in goals (three) and Bryan Rust for the lead in points (eight).

Pittsburgh (3-2-1) is 8-0-2 in its past 10 games against Florida (2-2-0). That is its longest stretch without a regulation loss in the series.

Penguins goalie Matt Murray made 43 saves. Reimer made 29 for the Panthers.

Video: FLA@PIT: Murray flashes the pad to make two big stops

Crosby seemed to score his second goal earlier, when Hornqvist leaped through Reimer and backhanded a pass through the crease, setting up Crosby for what would have been an easy goal with 3:25 remaining in the second period. It was disallowed when Hornqvist was called for goalie interference.

Florida and Pittsburgh combined for three goals in 3:05 during the first half of the second. 

After Jonathan Huberdeau scored his first of two goals to tie it 1-1 at 5:25, Greg McKegg gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead with a shorthanded goal, his first goal with the Penguins, at 6:40. Huberdeau scored again to tie it 2-2 at 8:30.

Video: FLA@PIT: McKegg buries a shorthanded goal in front

Huberdeau's second goal was upheld after the Penguins challenged for goaltender interference.

"It's a tough game," Huberdeau said. "They're a good team, especially at home. In the third period, we kind of played well. We had a lot of chances. We missed some chances too. I think it could've gone either way, but it happens. We just have to go to the next one."

Panthers forward Colton Sceviour left after taking a hit from Hornqvist with 2:05 remaining in the third. An update was not provided following the game.

 

Goal of the game

Sheary made an unheralded play to help facilitate Crosby's second goal when he tipped a cross-ice pass from Evgenii Dadonov that would have sent Huberdeau out of Florida's zone. The puck bounced to Letang, leading to Crosby's deflection.

Video: FLA@PIT: Crosby scores his second on crazy deflection

 

Saves of the game

Less than two minutes after Ekblad cut Pittsburgh's lead to one, Florida had two chances to tie it but was denied by Murray each time. Murray stopped a wrist shot from Dadonov at 8:56 before kicking away a rebound attempt from Connor Brickley three seconds later.

Video: FLA@PIT: Ekblad blisters shot in for 100th NHL point

 

Highlight of the game

Huberdeau established himself around Pittsburgh's crease while Keith Yandle took a slap shot that sent Murray sprawling in his crease. The rebound came to Dadonov, who carried it above the paint before Huberdeau took the puck off his tape and scored on a wrist shot past Murray for his second goal.

Video: FLA@PIT: Huberdeau buries a shot from the slot

 

They said it

"I thought it was a good effort. They kind of shot the puck from everywhere. I don't think we gave them a huge amount of really good chances. I think they just kind of shot the puck from everywhere." -- Penguins goalie Matt Murray

"I think we've got to figure it out that when we get into these games, you've got to give teams like this respect, but you've got to come in here and you've got to expect to get a point or two out of here." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner

 

Need to know

Reimer started for the second time this season in place of Roberto Luongo, who needs one win to pass Curtis Joseph (454 wins) for fourth on the all-time list. … Penguins defenseman Ian Cole missed a third straight game since blocking a shot with his face against the Nashville Predators on Oct. 7. Sullivan said Cole has made significant progress.

 

What's next

Panthers: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Crosby, Murray dazzle in Pens' 4-3 victory over Cats

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