Crosby fabulous in his return; Penguins win, 5-0
Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates with Brooks Orpik after assisting on a goal.
Penguins' Sidney Crosby is introduced before the game against the Islanders.
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Sidney Crosby was glorious in his return to the Penguins lineup, chalking up two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win tonight against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for his 21st career shutout.
Crosby had not played since he was diagnosed with a concussion Jan. 6.
The win halted a two-game losing streak and extended the Penguins' home winning streak against the Islanders to 13 games.
Crosby opened the scoring at 5:24 of the first period. He was behind his net when teammate Deryk Engelland got the puck near the right corner. Crosby took off down the middle of the ice.
Engelland sent the puck ahead to Pascal Dupuis along the boards in front of the Penguins bench. He sent a soft pass that got to Crosby in stride. Crosby broke across the blue line, got around New York's Andrew MacDonald on his way down the right edge of the slot and beat rookie goaltender Anders Nilsson with a backhander.
Crosby got the primary assist on Brooks Orpik's goal that made it 2-0 at 16:29 of the first period.
Dupuis lunged to keep the puck in the offensive zone and got the puck to Crosby along the left half-wall. Orpik got a backhand pass from Crosby at the center point blasted a rising shot over Nilsson's blocker.
Crosby picked up his third point when he assisted on Evgeni Malkin's power-play goal at 3:17 of the third period. His backhand pass set up a shot by Kris Letang. Malkin got the rebound at the left corner of the net behind Nilsson and made it 3-0.
Crosby wasn't involved in the next goal, when Steve Sullivan tipped in a pass from Malkin to make it 4-0 at 5:53 , but he struck again at 2:06 of the third period. After battling to maintain the puck near the right corner, he eluded the Islanders' Milan Jurcina with a switchback move and sent a fluttering backhand toward the net. The puck hit New York's Steve Staios and knuckled past Nilsson for a 5-0 Penguins lead.
The homestand continues with a game Wednesday against St. Louis.
First Published November 21, 2011 9:47 pm