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Sidney Crosby finally gets a playoff overtime winner

Sidney Crosby and Matt Cullen have lots to celebrate at the end of Game 2. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby can cross his name off the list of elite players that never scored a playoff overtime goal.

Mario Lemieux never scored one (though Claude Lemieux had three). Gordie Howe didn’t have any (his son Mark Howe had one), nor did Mark Messier (though his teammates Petr Klima and Stephane Matteau each had two).

Crosby’s on Monday night evened the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning at 1-1 and snapped his eight-game goal-scoring drought (matching his longest in a single postseason). It’s his first playoff goal since Game 4 of the first round against the New York Rangers.

Before Monday, 22 different Penguins had scored a playoff overtime goal, including George Ferguson, Michel Briere and Darius Kasparaitis (who totaled 84 career regular-season goals). Crosby broke Ferguson’s record for the quickest overtime goal (40 seconds).

The only Penguins player to score an overtime goal in a conference final before Crosby was Jaromir Jagr in Game 1 in 1992 (against the Boston Bruins).

The Penguins are now 3-1 in overtime this postseason (all three wins have come in the first seven minutes). That ties the franchise record for most overtime wins in a single postseason (2001 and the Stanley Cup-winning season of 2009). They are now 4-0 in these playoffs following a loss. They snapped a five-game losing streak in the conference finals.

Also noteworthy

Elias Sports Bureau research shows that Matt Murray became the first goalie age 21 or younger to win an overtime game in the conference finals since Felix Potvin for the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs.

Matt Cullen’s goal was his second in a conference finals and his first since scoring for the Carolina Hurricanes during Game 3 of the 2009 series against the Penguins.

Phil Kessel’s goal gave him 35 points in 35 career playoff games. He’s one of five players averaging a point-per-game since the 2008 postseason (minimum 30 games). Kessel, Crosby and fellow Penguin Evgeni Malkin make up three of the five.

The Penguins are dominating the series in terms of shot attempts. They had 70 shot attempts in Game 1 to the Lightning’s 41, along with 69 in Game 2 to the Lightning’s 44.