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SPORTSWednesday 18 May 2016

Crosby’s overtime winner lifts Penguins by Lightning 3-2 

WILL GRAVES                    A shot by Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby gets by Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasi-                                          up his second goal of the
AP Sports Writer               levskiy for the game-winning goal as Penguins’ Bryan Rust (17) watches in the overtime period                                         series, but the Lightning lost
PITTSBURGH (AP) --  Sidney     of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals Monday, May 16, 2016, in                                            for just the third time in 12
Crosby  wasn’t sureBryan       Pittsburgh.                                                                                                                           postseason games.
Rust  saw him, so the  Pitts-                                                                                                                                        ‘’It’s hard for us to swal-
burgh Penguinscaptain                                                                                                                              Associated Press  low,’’ Drouin said. ‘’You
gave his impromptu line-                                                                                                                                             could have a 2-0 lead go-
mate a quick yell just to      appeared destined for an         he moved too far to his       Sullivan said. ‘’We tried to                                           ing to your building but
make sure.                     open net before Vasilevs-        left when squaring to face    play the game the right                                                we’ve got to go home and
                               kiy stretched his glove out      Crosby, giving Crosby all     way. That’s what I like the                                            make sure we’re ready.’’
‘’I tried to let him know I    to make a save that could        the room he needed to         most about the group. As
was there,’’ Crosby said.      have tilted the balance of       score perhaps the second-     the game wore on we got                                                The Penguins pointed to an
A deft drop pass from Rust     power in the series.             most important goal of his    better and better.’’                                                   inability to generate quality
and a flick of Crosby’s        Instead, it only seemed to       life after his overtime win-  Matt Cullen and  Phil Kes-                                             chances from in close as a
wrist later, the superstar’s   lift the Penguins to another     ner for Team Canada in        sel  scored during Pitts-                                              major problem in Game 1.
lengthy postseason scoring     level. Pittsburgh dominated      the gold medal game of        burgh’s two-goal burst to                                              In danger of falling behind
drought was over. So were      most of the night, outshoot-     the 2010 Olympics.            start the game and Matt                                                by two games for the first
the chances of the Pen-        ing Tampa Bay 41-21 while        That goal proved cathartic    Murray rebounded from                                                  time in the postseason, Pitts-
guins falling into a deep      spending most of the game        for his home country. This    a shaky start to finish with                                           burgh wasted little time try-
hole against Tampa Bay in      in the Lightning zone. Only      one could do the same         19 saves, including stuff-                                             ing to make Vasilevskiy un-
the Eastern Conference fi-     the brilliant play of the        for Crosby’s adopted city,    ing Alex Killorn on a break-                                           comfortable, scoring a pair
nals.                          21-year-old Vasilevskiy - fill-  one in desperate need of      away late in the second                                                of early goals on scrambles
Crosby’s shot sailed high      ing in for injured starter Ben   a Stanley Cup to bookend      period of a tie game.                                                  from in front to go up 2-0
and hard over Andrei Vasi-     Bishop - kept Tampa Bay in       the one Crosby helped         ‘’It was a huge save, there’s                                          less than 10 minutes in.
levskiy’s stick 40 seconds     it.                              claim in 2009.                no doubt,’’ Sullivan said.                                             Then just as suddenly, Pitts-
into overtime on Monday        ‘’He was outstanding,’’                                        ‘’Matt’s history has been                                              burgh’s momentum van-
night, lifting the Penguins    Cooper said. ‘’You never         The Penguins still haven’t    he’s always responded                                                  ished. Stralman collected
to a 3-2 victory and tying     want to lose your No. 1 guy      lost consecutive games of     pretty solid when he thinks                                            a pretty cross-ice feed
the best-of-seven series at    in (Bishop) but .... Vasi was    any variety since January     he could have had one                                                  from  Jonathan Marches-
1. Game 3 is Wednesday         probably the reason why          and none with the usual al-   or would have liked one                                                sault  and lifted the puck
night in Tampa.                the game went to overtime        lotment of men on the ice     back.’’                                                                over Murray’s outstretched
‘’It feels good to get re-     in the first place.’’            since coach Mike Sullivan’s   Anton Stralman  scored in                                              glove to cut the lead in half
warded,’’ Crosby said after    Vasilevskiy finished with 38     first week on the job back    his return to the lineup from                                          with 3:23 to go and Drouin’s
collecting the first overtime  stops, but darted toward         in December.                  a fractured left leg and                                               knuckler from the right cir-
playoff winner of his NHL      the dressing room after          ‘’We just stayed with it,’’   Jonathan Drouin picked                                                 cle tied it with 70 seconds
career. ‘’I feel we deserved                                                                                                                                         remaining.
it tonight.’’
                                                                                                                                                                     Yet the Penguins stuck with
Crosby hadn’t found the                                                                                                                                              it, peppering Vasilevskiy
back of the net since                                                                                                                                                relentlessly in the third pe-
Game 4 of the opening                                                                                                                                                riod and remaining upbeat
round against the  New                                                                                                                                               even as the 21-year-old
York Rangers, though Tam-                                                                                                                                            goaltender pushed the
pa Bay coach Jon Cooper                                                                                                                                              game to overtime. Once
downplayed the idea that                                                                                                                                             there, Crosby’s 47th playoff
the two-time MVP was in a                                                                                                                                            goal provided a boost Pitts-
slump, pointing out a cold                                                                                                                                           burgh hopes it can carry
streak for Crosby is a hot                                                                                                                                           south.
streak for most others.                                                                                                                                              ‘’He worked hard all
Yet most others aren’t                                                                                                                                               game,’’ Penguins forward
Crosby. In danger of head-                                                                                                                                           Evgeni Malkin said. ‘’He
ing south down 2-0, Crosby                                                                                                                                           played right and it was
generated scoring chance                                                                                                                                             a tough game. He’s our
after scoring chance, in-                                                                                                                                            leader and we believe in
cluding a backhand in                                                                                                                                                him and we believe in ev-
the second period that                                                                                                                                               eryone here.’’q
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