PITTSBURGH – Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price saw the NHL’s leading scorer bearing down on him and figured he had maybe an inch or two over his right shoulder exposed.
Thing is, an inch or two is all Sidney Crosby needs these days.
Crosby beat Price with a laser to the top corner of the net late in the second period, Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun teamed up to stop 37 shots, and the Penguins extended their winning streak to 13 games with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday night.
He’s the best player in the world, so we got beat tonight by the best player in the world, by the perfect shot, Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
One Crosby delivered after a rare defensive breakdown by the Canadiens. Chris Kunitz found Crosby with a pretty cross-ice pass and Crosby did the rest. His 15th goal of the season turned out to be just enough to keep Pittsburgh’s march through March going.
To win that many, your goaltenders have to steal a game or two over that time period, Crosby said.
Sometimes we’ve had tough periods and they’ve bailed us out.
Against the surprising Canadiens, the Penguins needed both. Fleury stopped all 22 shots he faced, but did not play in the third period following a collision in front of the Penguins’ net. Vokoun filled in and made 15 saves to give Pittsburgh just the fourth combined shutout in franchise history.
BLACKHAWKS 2, FLAMES 0: Ray Emery made 16 saves for his first shutout in more than three years, defensemen Nick Leddy and Brent Seabrook scored, and Chicago snapped a two-game losing streak
Emery improved to 12-0 in recording his 12th career shutout.
RANGERS 5, FLYERS 2: In Philadelphia, Rick Nash scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and three assists, and New York won for the 11th time in 12 tries against Philadelphia.
Rangers coach John Tortorella became the 30th coach in NHL history to reach 400 wins, and his team maintained its hold on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
ISLANDERS 3, CAPITALS 2: In Washington, John Tavares broke a tie with 5:18 left to help New York win its second straight and improved to 9-5-1 on the road.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, PANTHERS 2: In Toronto, Joffrey Lupul scored twice in the third period, and Ben Scrivens made 40 saves to lead Toronto.
JETS 4, HURRICANES 1: In Raleigh, N.C., Evander Kane had a goal and three assists to help Winnipeg extend its lead in the Southeast Division to six points over Carolina, which is in the midst of a 0-5-1 slide.
LIGHTNING 2, SABRES 1: In Tampa, Fla., Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis each had a goal and an assist and the Tampa Bay ended and three-game losing streak and Buffalo failed to make up ground in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
OILERS 3, BLUES 0: In St. Louis, Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 43 shots and Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist for Edmonton, which won for the first time in four games and got its first win in St. Louis since Dec. 11, 2009.