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Crosby injured in Pens' loss

Friday, Oct. 31, 2008

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The offense is down and captain Sidney Crosby is out.

Crosby left a 4-1 loss last night against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period. He did not return and is listed by the Penguins as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

"Honestly, I don't even know what happened; I'd have to look at the tape," Crosby said. "I just had some discomfort. I just decided in the third period I couldn't do much, so..."

Fox Sports Arizona television broadcasters reported Crosby's ribs were injured after he was hit with a stick by a Phoenix player. He was set for X-ray examinations after the game, according to that report.

A Penguins official denied the report.

The Penguins (5-4-2, 12 points) have scored two or fewer goals in six games.

Crosby declined to agree with center Jordan Staal's assessment the Penguins "weren't prepared for (a) game" in which they managed only two first-period shots -- capping a five-period stretch over which they registered only 15 shots.

"It seems like our guys aren't really buying into our system and working hard, basically," Staal said. "It's really frustrating for everyone."

Crosby blamed the Penguins' struggling offense "more urgency and (the Penguins') attitude for wanting the puck."

"I don't think it has anything to do with the system," Crosby said. "I think it has more to do with urgency.

"It takes more than a system to do that."

Coach Michel Therrien, whose system was praised around the NHL as the Penguins marched through the Eastern Conference playoffs last season with a 12-2 record, said his team "is still learning" the system.

"System is only 50 percent of the game," Therrien said. "After that players got to play hard."

Crosby finished with a shot and was a minus-1 in 15 minutes and 56 seconds.

A two-shot first period -- a total topped by five shots on seven occasions in franchise history -- was indeed a scary start to Devil's Night.

However, the Penguins finally started looking like themselves -- at least the themselves they hope to be -- in the second period. They were credited with a 15th shot of the period at 16:11 and finished with 18, good enough to pull even at 20 with the Coyotes entering the second intermission.

Unfortunately, the Penguins also trailed, 2-1.

Center Olli Jokinen put the Coyotes ahead, 1-0, at 7:53 of the second. His second goal came not long after a failed Phoenix power-play attempt, but it was made possible by the Penguins' inability to clear a puck late on the advantage opportunity.

That overshadowed a strong second-period start for the Penguins, who received inspired rushes from Crosby and center Evgeni Malkin - anchoring separate lines for the first time in five games.

Malkin helped the Penguins pull even, 1-1, at 8:30. On a power play, his blast from high point bounced off the crossbar behind Phoenix goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov. The puck sailed into the air and landed in front of Bryzgalov's crease, and diving right wing Miroslav Satan swiped it into the cage for his fifth goal.

Satan was able to get his stick blade on the puck before it hit the ice; the result was the Penguins' first power-play goal away from Mellon Arena.

Phoenix grabbed a 2-1 lead at 17:59 of the second on a fifth goal from its captain Shane Doan. They Coyotes clinched the victory on third-period goals from center Kevin Porter and an empty-netter by Doan.




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