Monday, March 05, 2007

Penguins 4 - Flyers 3(SO): We need a Slumpbuster, STAT!


Crosby can't get any points during regulation, but has suddenly become money in the shootout.

Did he sell his soul to the (New Jersey) Devil?

Well, at least the Penguins won a game, and, once again, made the Flyers their little bitches with a 4-3 shootout win.

Crosby's totals? 0 points, 6 shots and -2 in 21:17 of ice time...yuk

If the Pittsburgh Penguins make the playoffs for the first time in six years, no opponent will be more responsible than the Philadelphia Flyers.

Erik Christensen twice scored tying goals in regulation, then teamed with Sidney Crosby to win it in the shootout and the Penguins swept a season series from Philadelphia for the first time by winning 4-3 on Sunday.

Pittsburgh won all eight games against a once-dominating opponent. Coming into the season, the Flyers were 125-64 with 30 ties and one overtime loss in the last 40 years against their Pennsylvania rivals.

The Penguins nearly didn't win, falling behind 2-0 on goals by Mike York and Braydon Coburn in a sloppily played first period. But Gary Roberts, with the Penguins less than a week, scored once and set up their other two goals in regulation and Pittsburgh won for only the second time in five games after getting points in 16 consecutive games (14-0-2).

This is exactly why Pittsburgh traded with Florida to get the 40-year-old Roberts - his ability to lead and to help win big games down the stretch in playoff races.

"Right now in the Eastern Conference, you can be third one week and eighth the next, so you've got to make sure you don't let any game slip away," Roberts said.

Crosby decided a shootout for the second time in four days, following up Christensen's successful shot against goalie Martin Biron by stickhandling the puck down the slot before going to his backhand to end it.

Both Flyers shooters, Martin Ruzicka and Scottie Upshall, failed against goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after Christensen began the shootout by beating Biron. The Penguins are 7-5 in shootouts and the Flyers are 1-6, last winning on Oct. 26.

Some fans tossed hats onto the ice after Christensen scored in the shootout, even though shootout goals don't count in individual totals.

"I knew it wasn't a hat trick but I will take it," said Christensen, who leads Pittsburgh with a 6-of-10 conversion rate in shootouts.

Crosby is 3-of-11 in shootouts, but also decided the Penguins' 4-3 victory against the Rangers on Thursday by scoring the only goal of the shootout.

"If you keep Crosby off the score sheet, you have a better chance of winning," the Flyers' Simon Gagne said. "It means defensively you're doing something right. But when you get into shootouts you don't know what's going to happen, and we're not very good in shootouts right now."

Crosby, the NHL's scoring leader with 98 points, was held without a point after getting 30 points in his first 15 career games against the Flyers. Crosby has two goals in his last 17 games overall.

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