Sidney Crosby beat goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy from the circle just 40 seconds into overtime to carry the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 home victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 on Monday to tie the NHL Eastern Conference final series 1-1.

Sidney Crosby Nets OT Winner In Penguins’ 3-2 Game 2 Win Over Lightning

Crosby, who had not scored in the postseason since the opening round against the New York Rangers, took a pass from Bryan Rust and buried it for his fourth goal of the playoffs. Crosby came into the second-round series against the Washington Capitals nearly three weeks ago needing just one postseason goal to move past Kevin Stevens into third on the franchise’s all-time list with 147. Going into overtime in Monday night’s game, he still needed that goal to surpass Stevens.

“I think we just felt like we could find another level,” Crosby said after his first overtime playoff goal. “That’s kind of encouraging.”

“I didn’t think Rusty saw me,” Crosby said. “I just tried to let him know that I was there, and he made a perfect pass, put in an area where I could get a quick shot away.”


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Matt Cullen and Phil Kessel also scored for the Penguins, who have now improved to 3-1 in overtime in the playoffs. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray, who has taken over since Game 3 in the opening round, finished with 19 saves. Cullen and Kessel started scoring early for Pittsburgh, with goals at 4:32 and 9:37 of the first, respectively.

Anton Stralman scored for the Lightning in his return from a left leg injury on March 25, while Jonathan Drouin netted his second goal in two games. Vasilevskiy, who stepped in for injured starter Ben Bishop, made 38 saves, 16 of them in the scoreless third period. The 21-year-old Murray, who outplayed the Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist to eliminate them in five games, then beat the Washington Capitals’ Vezina Trophy finalist Braden Holtby to knock out the best team in the NHL in six games, seemed to have been outshone by the Lightning’s backup goalie–who is his same age–despite putting on a strong performance.

“Matt’s history has always been (that) he’s always responded pretty solid when he thinks he could have had one, and would like one back,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan with regards to the two goals Murray let in. “It’s probably fair to say he would have liked that second one back.”

Some of the younger Penguin stars who have usually been at the top of their game this postseason seemed to falter in Game 2. Conor Sheary, who once stood out because of his speed, was so slow and ineffective on Monday that Sullivan was forced to keep him on the bench in the third period.

Tom Kuhnhackl, who had also been contributing steadily to Pittsburgh, stopped being effective after assisting on the first goal of the game by Cullen just four minutes into the first period.

Game 3 is set for Wednesday night in Tampa.

PHOTO: PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 16: Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center on May 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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