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Penguins notebook: Crosby continues scoring streak

| Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 6:21 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his first-period goal against the Canucks on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins' undefeated record at home remained intact, as did Sidney Crosby's scoring streak.

Crosby registered his seventh goal of the season and added two assists as the Penguins beat Vancouver in a shootout, 4-3, at Consol Energy Center on Saturday.

He has produced 17 points in his first eight games of the season, the best start of his career.

“I'm not playing at 100 percent (of my capabilities) right now,” center Evgeni Malkin said. “But Sid gets better and better every game.”

Malkin hasn't been so bad himself, now riding a six-game scoring streak.

But Crosby's production is in a league of its own. He has recorded 12 points in his past four games. Entering play Saturday night, Crosby had taken a six-point lead in the NHL scoring race.

Crosby has been on the ice for 15 of the Penguins' past 16 goals.

Rise and shine

Vancouver coach John Tortorella mentioned Friday that he never fully understood how brutal the NHL's travel schedule is for teams in the Western Conference until he agreed to coach the Canucks. Specifically, games in Pittsburgh have been particularly challenging for the Canucks.

Two of Vancouver's past three visits here — on Nov. 22, 2008 at Mellon Arena and on Saturday — forced the Canucks to play afternoon games, something west coast teams dislike because players' body clocks are still in the morning.

The other trip to Pittsburgh during the past six years saw Vancouver play its fifth consecutive road game in nine days at Consol Energy Center on Nov. 17, 2010.

Engelland at forward again

The Penguins inserted Deryk Engelland into the lineup for a second game in a row at right wing. He played instead of right wing Harry Zolnierczyk, who had been roundly praised by members of the coaching staff and management.

Zolnierczyk played the previous two games after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Engelland, a healthy scratch during the season's first four games, has played in the past four contests, twice on the blue line and twice at right wing.

Dangerous hit?

Vancouver forward Zach Kassian hit right wing Pascal Dupuis from behind into the boards with 9:33 left in the third period. No penalty was called on the play, which didn't please Dupuis.

The right wing rose to his feet after staying down for a few seconds.

“The numbers were there, obviously,” Dupuis said, implying that Kassian saw that Dupuis had his back turned but hit him anyway. “These days, if guys stay down (are injured), they punish you. I don't know.”

All hits are reviewed by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Around the boards

Right winger James Neal (upper body) will miss at least two more weeks. He has not played since Oct. 3, when he aggravated a previous injury. Kris Letang, Beau Bennett and Matt D'Agostini all skated before the game Saturday. … Forward Matia Marcantuoni has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Penguins. Marcantuoni, 19, was drafted 92nd overall.

Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Rossi at or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib. Reach Yohe at or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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