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Sid extends streak to 25 games

by Shawn P. Roarke /

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby didn't keep the Consol Energy Center crowd in suspense for too long Tuesday night -- and once he delivered, he showed no predilection for resting on his laurels.

The Penguins captain scored 10:34 into Pittsburgh's game against Atlanta, extending his point streak to a League-best 25 games and drawing the Penguins into a 1-1 tie with the Thrashers.

Then, after Dustin Byfuglien gave Atlanta the lead back with a power-play goal, Crosby answered yet again, scoring a sweet goal with 86 seconds left in the period, which ended in a 2-2 tie. On the goal, Crosby went five-hole against Ondrej Pavelec after taking a nice pass from Alex Goligoski and splitting the defense.

He added an assist on Chris Kunitz's goal just 9 seconds into the third period that made it 4-2, then added s second assist on a goal credited to Matt Cooke at 16:16 in Pittsburgh's 6-3 victory. Crosby had a natural hat trick against the Thrashers the last time these teams met in Pittsburgh on Dec. 1.

Crosby has 26 goals and 24 assists during the streak, which began Nov.  5 with two goals against Anaheim. He leads the NHL with 32 goals and 65 points.

Crosby insisted Tuesday morning that he tried not to concern himself too much with the streak, but has admitted he's beginning to feel the pressure of fashioning the longest streak the NHL has seen since Quebec's Mats Sundin had a point in 30 consecutive games in 1992-93.

"I try not to think about it a whole lot, but it's something I get asked about probably every day," Crosby said after the morning skate. "So I'm reminded about it. It's a good thing, and you want to be consistent. But as I‘ve said before there are some times when you play well and the points come, but sometimes you play well and they don't.

"So when they're coming like that you want to take advantage of it and give yourself a chance to create. I think everyone benefits individually when the team's playing well."

Crosby's first goal came on the power play -- his seventh man-advantage goal during the streak -- after Tobias Enstrom was whistled for hooking Chris Kunitz on a partial breakaway. The goal eased concerns over a Penguin team that started slowly 48 hours after nearly being shut out by Ottawa in Sunday's game.

Crosby scored late in the game at Ottawa to extend his streak to 24.

Despite Crosby's dominance this season, his streak is not yet halfway to the League record of 51 games set by Wayne Gretzky during the 1983-84 season.

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