Boston at Pittsburgh

Crosby nets first NHL goal, but Pens lose home opener


PITTSBURGH -- On a memorable night Sidney Crosby played like a mature 40-year-old rather than an 18-year-old kid and Mario Lemieux looked like he was 18 rather than 40, the Pittsburgh Penguins forget no lead is safe in this new-look NHL.

Glen Murray's second goal, a one-timer as a Pittsburgh penalty was expiring 1:23 into overtime, rallied the Boston Bruins from a two-goal deficit and a 7-6 victory Saturday night that spoiled Crosby's first career goal and Lemieux's first multigoal game since February 2003.

"It's a different game we're playing now," said Lemieux, who looked like he was playing the same game he did two decades ago. "It's a lot more skating and a lot less scrapping, and I think it's great."

Except, he added, when the Penguins lose on what otherwise was a historic night for the franchise, with Crosby delighting the standing-room crowd in his home debut with his first goal and two assists for his first multipoint game. He has a team-high five points through three games.

"It's something you dream about, scoring in the NHL," Crosby said. "There's a lot of emotion that comes out of that. But it would have been nice if we had finished it off."

Instead, the Bruins put 41 shots on a harried Sebastien Caron to win for the first time in three games after scoring only two goals in their first two. The much-improved Penguins -- the NHL's worst team in 2003-04 -- dropped to 0-3, with a shootout loss and an overtime defeat on successive nights to rookie goalies.

Murray had two goals and two assists as the Bruins won despite trailing 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, 4-2, 5-4 and 6-4 behind goalie Hannu Toivonen in his first NHL start. The winner on a hard shot from the left circle came just as defenseman Dick Tarnstrom was coming out of the box after being called for tripping late in the third period.

In the low-scoring, trap-filled, pre-labor dispute NHL days of two years ago, a two-goal lead was virtually secure. That's not possible now with the rules designed to increase scoring and this very kind of up-and-down, free-flowing game.

"We have confidence in ourselves to go out and score goals," Murray said. "You can be down a couple of goals now and still be in the game."

With commissioner Gary Bettman and an overflow crowd of 17,132 in attendance for Crosby's first home game, the NHL's most-awaited prospect in a generation didn't disappoint. Often the best player on the ice for long stretches, he made two excellent plays to set up goals by Ric Jackman and Brooks Orpik, then got the goal he will remember the rest of his career.

With Pittsburgh up 5-4 and on a power play late in the second, Crosby threw he puck on net, then raced in to gather the rebound and put it into the side of the net after failed follow-up attempts by Mark Recchi and Ziggy Palffy.

Then, acting just like the 18-year-old he is, Crosby let out a "Yeah!" before skating behind the net and slamming backward into the glass.

Hey, can't a hockey player be a kid for just a moment -- especially when he is a kid?

"We were excited for him," said Lemieux, who broke into a big smile on the bench. "But he was pretty excited, too."

The Penguins rode the momentum created by the equally big nights by Crosby and Lemieux until halftime through the third, only to have the Bruins' Murray and Brad Boyes score 1 minute, 17 seconds apart to tie it. Boyes' goal also was his first in the league.

Caron was in goal for the Penguins' 3-2 shootout loss at Carolina on Friday to rookie goalie Cam Ward, then unexpectedly started again when Jocelyn Thibault injured his left knee during the morning skate Saturday.

Lemieux's first goal in nearly two years, or since Oct. 11, 2003, against the Flyers -- his only goal in a 2003-04 season ended after 10 games by a hip injury -- also came on a power play. John LeClair's shot from the right point deflected to Lemieux, who beat Toivonen with a hard wrist shot to make it 2-1 Penguins.

"It's game we should have won," Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk said. "But the other night, the Kings led by four goals and lost. You're going to see games like this now."

Lemieux also scored unassisted to put Pittsburgh ahead again 5-4 by putting in his own rebound, giving him his first two-goal game since Feb. 25, 2003, against the Kings. Before that, Crosby set up successive goals by defensemen Jackman and Orpik, with the Orpik goal coming after Crosby hit him in stride with a pass just in front of the net.

Sergei Samsonov had a goal and two assists for Boston. Mark Recchi had three assists in his first Penguins home game since the 1991-92 season.

"We showed a lot of heart by coming back," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said.


  • Toivonen gave up six goals on 22 shots, then saved all seven attempts he save in the third period. The Penguins had no shots in overtime.
  • Thibault has no broken bones, but it isn't certain how long he will be out.
  • Boston's Patrick Leahy also scored his first career goal and had an assist.
  • Boston avoided its first 0-3 start since it was 0-9 in 1999-2000.
  • Lemieux's first career goal also came against Boston, but on the road, on the first shot of his first shift on Oct. 11, 1984.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Top pick Sidney Crosby (middle) celebrates his first goal with teammates.  (AP)
Top pick Sidney Crosby (middle) celebrates his first goal with teammates. (AP)
Boston  (1-2-0) «22217
Pittsburgh (0-1-2)33006
Three Stars
G. Murray

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 2
S. Crosby

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
M. Lemieux

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
03:34Zigmund Palffy (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Steve Poapst and Dick Tarnstrom
11:01Power Play - Sergei Samsonov, Tip-In - Assists: Glen Murray and Joe Thornton
12:25Power Play - Mario Lemieux, Wrist Shot - Assists: John LeClair and Ric Jackman
15:41Power Play - Patrice Bergeron (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Glen Murray and Sergei Samsonov
16:01Ric Jackman, Snap Shot - Assists: Sidney Crosby and Mark Recchi
00:26Brooks Orpik, Wrist Shot - Assists: Sidney Crosby and Mark Recchi
08:57Pat Leahy, Tip-In - Unassisted.
10:30Travis Green, Slap Shot - Assists: P.J. Axelsson and Tom Fitzgerald
11:44Mario Lemieux, Snap Shot - Unassisted.
18:32Power Play - Sidney Crosby, Wrist Shot - Assists: Mark Recchi and Zigmund Palffy
07:48Glen Murray (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov
09:05Brad Boyes, Tip-In - Assists: Pat Leahy and Brad Isbister
01:23Glen Murray (3), Slap Shot - Assist: Joe Thornton
Penalty Summary
01:24Jurcina: Holding the stick - 2 min.
06:40Slegr: Hooking - 2 min.
09:27Orpik: Hooking - 2 min.
11:11Green: Hooking - 2 min.
13:36LeClair: Hooking - 2 min.
15:00Gonchar: Hooking - 2 min.
16:27Talbot: Interference - 2 min.
16:46Poapst: Hooking - 2 min.
18:24Samsonov: Interference - 2 min.
01:18Jurcina: Hooking - 2 min.
04:39Poapst: Holding - 2 min.
14:53Slegr: Slashing - 2 min.
17:48Gill: Interference - 2 min.
19:10Murray: High sticking - 2 min.
03:44Murray: Hooking - 2 min.
19:19Tarnstrom: Tripping - 2 min.
Attendance - 17132
Game Time - 61:23
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Dean Warren
Line Judges - Derek Amell, Mark Shewchyk
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