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game recap

Sidney Crosby gets three points, Penguins top Blues

Pittsburgh center moves closer to 1,000; Marc-Andre Fleury earns win

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Sidney Crosby had two goals and one assist to move within three points of 1,000 in his NHL career, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1 at Scottrade Center on Saturday.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves for his first win since Jan. 8, and Kris Letang and Justin Schultz scored for the Penguins (33-13-5), who are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Blues highlights

 

"I just told our players it was two hard-fought games," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought we played the game the right way. We took what the game gave us out there, but we didn't beat ourselves with mismanagement of the puck in the wrong areas or undisciplined penalties or [things] of that nature. We were locked in as far as our attention to detail. Those are two pretty good hockey teams that play a hard game. There's not a lot of room out there, and I thought our guys did a pretty good job."

Crosby scored his 30th goal of the season into an empty net with 18 seconds remaining to make it 4-1. He has 59 points in 45 games this season, and 368 goals and 629 assists for 997 points in 752 games.

"[Goals] haven't come as easily as you'd like," Crosby said. "I've had some good chances. Nice to see a couple go in."

Crosby has not gone more than one game this season without a point.

"It's trying to have a good mindset and kind of refresh," he said. "You learn from it and you move on. Consistency's tough to find. We've had guys in and out of the lineup. It's just have a better mindset, and we've been able to refocus pretty quick."

Video: PIT@STL: Letang chips puck home on a breakaway

Patrik Berglund scored, and Jake Allen made 27 saves for the Blues (25-22-5), who lost coach Mike Yeo's second game after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 on Thursday.

Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead with 4:10 to play in the first period. Letang, after serving a penalty, scored on a breakaway 1:34 into the second period to make it 2-0, and Schultz scored off a Crosby feed at 12:02 to make it 3-0.

The Blues failed to score on a two-man advantage for 1:20 to end the first period and start the second.

"First period, I would say only OK," Yeo said of the Blues, who were outshot 12-4. "For whatever reason, I felt like we were not aggressive enough, whether it was too much respect, whether it was try to be a little safe, or whatever. I felt like we were giving them a lot of time and a lot of space and not a lot of puck zone time for us because of that.

"Still, you've got an opportunity there. You get a 5-on-3, a long 5-on-3, and then they come out of the box and score a goal. That's obviously a pretty critical moment in the game."

Berglund ended Fleury's shutout 10:22 into the third period.

Video: PIT@STL: Berglund floats a backhander past Fleury

 

Goal of the game

Chris Kunitz patiently waited for a seam to open before passing to the top of the circle for Crosby to backhand a puck over Allen for a 1-0 lead.

Video: PIT@STL: Crosby roofs a quick backhand from knee

 

Save of the game

Fleury kept it 3-0 by making a stop in tight on Blues center Paul Stastny with 5:59 remaining in the second period.

Video: PIT@STL: Fleury denies Stastny's shot in close

 

Highlight of the game

Crosby waited for Schultz to curl around the net before passing for a one-timer from the left circle.

Video: PIT@STL: Schultz hammers a one-timer from down low

 

Unsung performance of the game

Kunitz had two assists, four shots and five hits in 17:13.

 

They said it

"He's been fantastic for us. He's a world-class player, the best player in the world. This year for us he's been our heartbeat. He's been the guy that kind of paces us all year and he showed tonight how great he can be." -- Penguins defenseman Ian Cole on Sidney Crosby

 

Need to know

Blues left wing Robby Fabbri left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury after being checked against the boards by Penguins center Carter Rowney. ... Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin did not return after sustaining an upper-body injury in the first period after a check by Blues left wing Alexander Steen. ... Fleury started for the first time since Jan. 14, a 6-3 loss at the Detroit Red Wings. ... Yeo was an assistant with the Penguins from 2006-10, including the Stanley Cup-winning team in 2009.

 

What's next

Penguins: Host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, ROOT, SNW, NHL.TV)

Blues: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Crosby leads Penguins to win against Blues

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