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Notebook: 18 and Counting

Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 10:57 PM / Features
By Sam Kasan
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Notebook: 18 and Counting
BUFFALO, New York – Sidney Crosby carried a 17-game scoring streak into Buffalo for a Saturday showdown with the Sabres.

The first 52 minutes of the game expired as Crosby remained scoreless. With each ticking second, it appeared that Crosby’s streak could come to an end.

But Crosby thrives on the drama. With the Penguins clinging to a 2-1 lead with under eight minutes left in the game, Crosby helped set up Alex Goligoski’s eventual game-winning goal to keep the streak alive. 

Crosby’s scoring streak is now at 18 games (one shy of tying his career high), and the Penguins extended their winning streak to 12 games and unbeaten stretch to 15 (14-0-1).

Crosby has 35 points (20G-16A) during his streak. He can match his career-best run (Oct. 6 to Nov. 17, 2007) with a point at Philadelphia next Tuesday night.


FLOWER POWER
Marc-Andre Fleury was once again brilliant in net for the Penguins in Buffalo.
We were talking before the game that none of us have had an opportunity to win 12 in a row. It feels good to get it. We’re going to put this one behind us and move on to the next one as quickly as we can. - Head coach Dan Bylsma


In the last outing on Nov. 24, Fleury stopped all 30 Sabres shots to record his 17th career shutout. Saturday night, he turned aside 34 of 36 shots to record his second win in two tries against Buffalo.

Fleury has now stopped 64 of 66 Buffalo shots, a .970 save percentage.

“I like to play here. It’s a fun building,” Fleury said. “Like every night the guys are doing a great job of blocking shots and taking rebounds away. That’s a big help.”

Fleury extended his career-long winning streak to 11 games, while tying his career-best unbeaten stretch at 14 (13-0-1). Fleury also went undefeated in 14 games (12-0-2) Jan. 13 to Feb. 16, 2007.


EXECUTION
The Penguins built a 2-0 lead early halfway through the first period on Arron Asham’s fourth goal of the season. Asham finished the play, but all three forwards (Matt Cooke, Maxime Talbot and Asham) deserve credit.

The play started when Derek Roy’s attempted clearing pass was stolen by Talbot. He then found Asham drifting into a soft zone above the far circle. Talbot laid out a perfect pass that Asham blasted with a one-timer (Asham really does have an underrated slap shot).

Cooke did his part by blocking the goaltender's vision while standing right in front of the net. Netminder Ryan Miller never saw the puck as it sailed over his shoulder and into the far corner of the goal.

It was a bang-bang play that all three players executed perfectly for the score.


DIRTY DOZEN
The wins just keep coming for Pittsburgh. With their victory at Buffalo, the Penguins extended their season-long winning streak to 12 games – the second-best mark in franchise history.

“We were talking before the game that none of us have had an opportunity to win 12 in a row,” Bylsma said. “It feels good to get it. We’re going to put this one behind us and move on to the next one as quickly as we can.”

The Penguins also extended their road-winning streak to seven games, which ties the franchise record. Pittsburgh also won seven-straight road games under Bylsma last season (Oct. 3 to Nov. 3, 2009).
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