Penguins' Sykora scores winner against Thrashers
Petr Sykora redirected Sidney Crosby's slap shot on a power play with 2:40 remaining to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night, the Penguins' seventh win in their last eight games.
Crosby scored his seventh goal to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead 12:24 into the second period. He also was credited with a pair of assists, including his 18th on Sykora's fourth goal of the season.
Atlanta has lost two straight following a five-game winning streak. Slava Kozlov, scoring a goal in his third straight game, gave the Thrashers a 1-0 lead on a power play 4:41 into the first with his 11th of the season.
Miroslav Satan's ninth goal, a tip-in at the 10:57 mark of the first, forced a 1-all tie for the Penguins. Jim Slater made it 2-2 with his second goal, a wide wraparound from the right side 1:14 after Crosby scored.
Tyler Kennedy set up Crosby's goal, stealing the puck behind the net from Ron Hainsey after locking skates with the Atlanta defenceman.
With Crosby skating through the slot, Kennedy earned his seventh assist by sliding the puck from the left side of the crease. Crosby was falling backward as he fired a wrist shot past goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
Chris Thorburn's interference penalty against Crosby at the Atlanta rear boards set up Pittsburgh's winning power play, but not before Penguins goalie Dany Sabourin stopped Marty Reasoner's short-handed attempt on a breakaway.
The Thrashers, unable to get Ilya Kovalchuk to score consistently under first-year coach John Anderson, could suffer more offensively if centre Todd White misses many games from a concussion he appeared to suffer early in the third.
White, who crashed headfirst into the corner boards after Pittsburgh defenceman Kris Letang checked him hard, tried twice unsuccessfully to stand up under his own power before he was helped off the ice.
The Penguins improved to 2-3-2 at Philips Arena since the start of 2005-06.
Sabourin, starting in place of injured goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, stopped 21 of 23 shots to improve to 4-1-1.
Pavelec started for the first time in four games and dropped to 2-1-0 after stopping 28 of 31 shots.