Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sidney Crosby had two goals and Marc-
Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 win
over the Chicago Blackhawks.
James Neal and Lee Stempniak also scored for the Penguins, who have won their
past two to eclipse the 100-point mark for a sixth time in the past eight
"They put a lot of pressure on us and I thought we were able to handle it
well," said Crosby. "They started to take a few more risks later on and we
were able to capitalize."
Pittsburgh sits comfortably atop the Metropolitan Division, but still trails
Boston by nine points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Sheldon Brookbank scored and Corey Crawford stopped 23-of-26 shots for the
Blackhawks, who have dropped four of five and are one point behind
Colorado for second place in the Central Division.
"The way we've been playing lately is frustrating for all of us," said Chicago
forward Patrick Sharps. "But we're not trying to lay blame on any one person,
we're just trying to figure a way to get out of it."
Chicago also took a blow as center Jonathan Toews left the game in the second
period with an upper-body injury, appearing to hurt his left shoulder after
being driven into the boards by Brooks Orpik.
Pittsburgh scored halfway through the first period on a 2-on-1 break as Neal
opted to shoot and his wrister from the left wing sailed past Crawford.
It took just 21 seconds for the Pens to increase their lead, as Stempniak
took a pass at the right point and skated down to the circle before snapping a
shot in for his 11th of the year.
Chicago got the only goal of the second period, as Brookbank's shot from the
left point made its way past Fleury.
Crosby, though, gave the Pens some insurance with 4:51 to play when his quick
shot from the left circle on a 2-on-1 found the right corner, and he sealed
the victory with the net empty and 1:16 showing on the clock.
The two times over the past eight seasons that Pittsburgh has not reached 100
points was a 99-point campaign in 2008-09, and a 72-point effort in last
year's strike-shortened season ... Chicago hosts Minnesota on Thursday ...
Pittsburgh plays host to Carolina on Tuesday.