Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Penguins Beat Lightning in Overtime

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Penguins Beat Lightning in Overtime

Article excerpt

Sidney Crosby wasn't sure Bryan Rust saw him, so the Pittsburgh Penguins captain gave his impromptu linemate a quick yell.

"I tried to let him know I was there," Crosby said.

A deft drop pass from Rust and a flick of Crosby's wrist later, the superstar's lengthy postseason scoring drought was over. So were the chances of the Penguins falling into a deep hole against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals.

Crosby's shot sailed high and hard over Andrei Vasilevskiy's stick 40 seconds into overtime Monday night, lifting the Penguins to a 3-2 victory and tying the best-of-seven series at 1. Game 3 is Wednesday night in Tampa.

"It feels good to get rewarded," Crosby said after collecting the first overtime playoff goal of his NHL career. "I feel we deserved it tonight."

Crosby hadn't found the back of the net since Game 4 of the opening round against the New York Rangers, though Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper played down the idea that the two-time MVP was in a slump, pointing out a cold streak for Crosby is a hot streak for most others.

Yet most others aren't Crosby. In danger of heading south down 2- 0, Crosby generated scoring chance after scoring chance, including a backhand in the second period that appeared destined for an open net before Vasilevskiy stretched his glove out to make a save that could have tilted the balance of power in the series.

Instead, it only seemed to lift the Penguins to another level. Pittsburgh dominated most of the night, outshooting Tampa Bay 41-21 while spending most of the game in the Lightning zone. Only the brilliant play of the 21-year-old Vasilevskiy filling in for injured starter Ben Bishop kept Tampa Bay in it.

"He was outstanding," Cooper said. "You never want to lose your No. 1 guy in (Bishop) but .... Vasi was probably the reason why the game went to overtime in the first place."

Vasilevskiy finished with 38 stops but darted toward the dressing room after he moved too far to his left when squaring to face Crosby, giving Crosby all the room he needed to score perhaps the second-most important goal of his life after his overtime winner for Team Canada in the gold medal game of the 2010 Olympics. …

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