EDMONTON — Sidney Crosby has no intention of letting the younger stars of the game pass him by just yet.
Crosby scored his first two goals of the season, including a dazzling overtime winner, as the Pittsburgh Penguins emerged with a 6-5 victory over Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
"Listen, I’m not changing the way I play," Crosby said.
"I’m going out there every night to try and create things, and come up with big plays when they’re needed. I’m not any different than (McDavid) is as far as understanding my responsibility, and wanting to be at my best."
And his second marker was certainly a big play.
The Penguins captain controlled the puck heading into the Oilers’ zone, shaking off Ryan Strome once in the corner before losing him again with a deke as he cut to the front of the net and fired a backhand past Cam Talbot with two minutes and 48 seconds left in the extra frame.
Despite all the hype ahead of the matchup that pitted two of the game’s brightest stars against each other, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby just put his head down and got the job done.
"He doesn’t really get caught up in a lot of the storylines from game to game regardless of who we play," he said.
"He’s just a real good player that tries to be the best that he can be. I thought he had a great game, he gets two goals. The overtime goal was one of the prettiest goals that I’ve seen."
Jamie Oleksiak and Patric Hornqvist also had two-goal games for the Penguins (4-1-2), who have won two straight.
Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chiasson each scored twice, while McDavid had the other for the Oilers (3-3-1), who have lost two in a row.
"I felt that we deserved those two points tonight," said Oilers forward Milan Lucic.
"I think we are trending in the right direction as far as our game goes. We are starting to get contributions from other guys throughout the lineup. I feel we are one mistake less from taking that stride to that next level."
Matt Murray backstopped the Penguins to victory with 41 saves, while his counterpart Talbot kicked out 25 shots in the loss.
The Penguins started the scoring 11 minutes into the first period on the power play as Crosby tipped home a Kris Letang shot that was going wide past Talbot. It was Crosby’s first goal in seven games, the longest he had gone without a goal to start the season in his 14-year career.
Edmonton tied the game just over a minute into the second period, when Draisaitl picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Murray with a wrist shot.
The Oilers went up 2-1 a couple of minutes later, when Chiasson laid a big hit in the corner and then got the puck back in front and scored while falling to the ice. It was his first goal of the season in his second game as an Oiler.
Pittsburgh knotted the game back up seven minutes into the middle frame, when a nice three-way passing play was chipped in by a pinching Oleksiak.
The Penguins regained the lead midway through the second when a give-away led to a goal by Hornqvist.
The see-saw second continued with Edmonton pulling even when Chiasson scored his second of the game on a two-on-one with five minutes left.
The Penguins made it 4-3 in the final minute when a puck went in off of Hornqvist’s skate for his second of the game.
Edmonton took the lead again early in the third on a pair of power plays as McDavid snuck a shot past Murray and then set up Draisaitl for his second of the night shortly after.
Pittsburgh tied it up once again seven minutes into the third on a slap shot by Oleksiak.
Both teams return to action on Thursday, with the Penguins continuing a Western Canadian road swing in Calgary and the Oilers closing out a four-game homestand against the Washington Capitals.
Notes: Edmonton hasn’t had a regulation win over Pittsburgh since Jan. 10, 2006, although the last seven games between the two squads have now been decided by a single goal.