PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby ended a seven-game stretch without a goal by scoring twice, then joined Pascal Dupuis with shootout tallies as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Sunday.
The Penguins trailed 4-3 until Matt Cooke deflected defenceman Brooks Orpik’s slap shot from the right point with 3:48 remaining in regulation. Orpik had his first three-point game by also assisting on Crosby’s NHL-leading 46th and 47th goals.
After Phil Kessel was turned aside by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the shootout, Crosby converted for the eighth time in 10 attempts by putting a wrist shot under the crossbar. Fleury stopped Nikolai Kulemin’s backhander before Dupuis — on his first shootout attempt all season — also put a wrister by Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Tyler Kennedy also scored as the Penguins moved ahead of New Jersey 95-93 for the Atlantic Division lead and the likely No. 2 seeding in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Both teams went into Sunday’s games with 93 points, but the Devils hold the tiebreaker.
Pittsburgh won its second in two days after dropping three in a row and six of eight.
Toronto, last in the conference but the winner of nine of its previous 12, went ahead 4-3 when Tyler Bozak scored on a power play created by Fleury’s interference penalty 5:38 into the third. Fleury gave a hip check to Colton Orr as he skated out from behind the net after previously tangling with Orpik and Kris Letang.
Crosby scored twice in a span of 3:14 in the second period after failing for the second time this season to score in seven consecutive games.
Crosby, who leads Washington’s Alex Ovechkin 47-46 in the NHL goal-scoring race, tied it at two by scoring off a rebound of Orpik’s slap shot at 7:29 of the second. He gave Pittsburgh the lead at 10:43 after winning a faceoff in the Maple Leafs zone. The puck deflected off the side boards to Orpik, who fed it to back to Crosby for a wrist shot from the lower right circle.
Crosby also scored for the first time in the 12 games Evgeni Malkin has missed due to injury. Malkin (bruised right foot) sat out for the sixth time in seven games.
Giguere made 41 saves while starting instead of Jonas Gustavsson, who won his seventh in a row Saturday as the Maple Leafs rallied to beat the New York Rangers 3-2. Pittsburgh outshot Toronto 45-29.
Orr, Kessel and Carl Gunnarsson also scored for Toronto. Kessel scored his 30th on a seemingly harmless wrist shot from the high slot nearly five minutes into the second. Fleury gave up a similarly soft goal to Philadelphia’s Arron Asham on Saturday, the only score he gave up in Pittsburgh’s 4-1 victory.
NOTES: Pittsburgh is 8-2 in shootouts. Toronto is 4-4. ... Penguins D Sergei Gonchar (illness) missed his third in a row. ... Crosby also didn’t score in seven games between Oct. 30 and Nov. 12. ... Pittsburgh won three of four in the season series. ... The Penguins have scored at least four goals in successive games after going nine in a row with three goals or fewer.