TORONTO (AP)—Sidney Crosby’s so-called slump is over, folks.
Crosby scored his first two goals of the season, including the winner with 5:22 left in the third period, to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a wild 6-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
“It’s not something I was too worried about,” Crosby said. “If I wasn’t getting chances I’d be a little worried but I thought it was just a matter of time.”
The crowd of 19,479 at Air Canada Centre got its money’s worth in a game that featured plenty of goals, even more chances, and very little defense.
On the deciding goal, Crosby banged a loose puck into an empty net after goalie Vesa Toskala stopped Darryl Sydor’s point shot on a power play only to have the puck trickle behind him to Crosby. It was the lone power-play goal of the night.
Last season’s NHL scoring champion came into the game with two assists and nine shots on goal in three games. He scored on two of his four shots Saturday.
“I remember last year I went eight to 10 games without a goal, so I was hoping it wasn’t going to be that long,” Crosby said. “But that happens, that’s part of playing hockey. The seasons are full of ups and downs. You just have to battle through it.”
Toskala was solid despite letting in five goals, stopping 46 shots—one short of his career high.
“I feel sorry for Vesa, he’s kicking 50 shots aside,” Leafs winger Alex Steen said. “We’re taking too many penalties and they took advantage at the end.”
The Leafs were handed a power play with 1:32 to go in the third period, but couldn’t capitalize, and Talbot ended it with an empty-netter with 49.2 seconds left.
Crosby has never had a fighting major in the NHL but came close late in the second period, exchanging a few face washes with Antropov. Both players got roughing penalties.
“I went to finish my hit and he got his stick up a bit,” Crosby said. “A little bit of a scrum. Nothing major. That’s not a fight. I didn’t drop the gloves.”
Forward Kyle Wellwood (groin) and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo (knee) joined their Maple Leafs teammates for the pregame skate Saturday morning, their first practice with the team since they were injured. Both players said they hoped to be back in the lineup soon, perhaps as early as next week. Winger Alex Ponikarovsky (knee) missed his second straight game. … Toronto native Mike Myers, in town shooting “The Love Guru,” dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff.