Penguins Notebook: Crosby awarded league's first star

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Penguins center and captain Sidney Crosby Monday was named the NHL's first star for the final week of the regular season.

In four games, Crosby had 12 points (four goals, eight assists). That includes a five-point game Sunday in the finale, a 6-5 overtime win against the Islanders in New York.

His two goals in that game lifted him into a tie with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy that goes to the league's top goal-scorer. They each finished with 51.

Crosby also pulled into a tie with Washington's Alex Ovechkin as runners-up to Vancouver's Henrik Sedin for the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer. Crosby and Ovechkin had 109 points, Sedin 112.

Outdoor screen returns

The Penguins are bringing back some popular promotions for the playoffs, which begin Wednesday at home against Ottawa.

The big outdoor screen will be back near Gate 3 at Mellon Arena. Home and road games will be shown there for anyone who wants to watch.

For the first two home games against Ottawa, Wednesday and Friday, the club is calling for a whiteout. T-shirts and rally towels will be handed out to ticket holders.

Also, there will be an open-air concession terrace area above Gate 3 from 5 p.m. until game time for those with tickets to the home games.

Tangradi to Wilkes-Barre

The Penguins returned left winger Eric Tangradi to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

With three left wingers out for the regular-season finale against the Islanders in New York, Tangradi made his NHL debut. He had three shots, three hits and was even in plus-minus rating in 13:49 of ice time in the 6-5, overtime win.

Left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky is eligible to return from a two-game NHL suspension for Game 1 of the playoffs. Also expected back are Matt Cooke (head) and Chris Kunitz (shoulder).

Familiar foe

The Penguins took Monday as a day off.

That gives them practice today and the morning skate Wednesday for game preparation for Game 1 against the Senators, but they are a familiar opponent. This will be the third time in four years the teams have met in the first round.


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com .


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