Two things stayed consistent at the Coliseum Tuesday night: the Islanders keep finding ways to lose and Sidney Crosby keeps finding ways to beat them.
Exhibit A was the Islanders' 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The hosts squandered a two-goal advantage, as Crosby connected for the final two goals, including the overtime winner.
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"You're not going to stop him," coach Jack Capuano said. "You're going to try to contain him. I thought we did a very good job of eliminating some of his chances, but he came up big for them."
When he eventually is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Crosby might want to give a big thank you to the Islanders in his speech because he has made a career feasting on them.
After missing 320 days because of a concussion, Crosby scored on his third shift and finished with two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win November 2011. During last spring's playoffs, he came back from a broken jaw that sidelined him for a month and scored two goals in a 4-3 defeat. And he tallied his 250th career goal for the winner in a 4-3 win Nov. 22 of this year.
Tuesday night he left his heroics late, scoring off a power play, beating goaltender Anders Nilsson from the middle of the left-wing circle at 8:00 of the third period to tie the score at 2.
Then came the winner, a wrist shot at 3:43 of OT for his 15th goal this season.
"I just got the puck around their blue line and I got some speed," Crosby said. "I had time to wind it up. I was waiting for him [Nilsson] to come out. They were pretty flat-footed."
Before the game, Crosby warned that the Penguins should "just be ready for a desperate team." He was correct as Kyle Okposo gave the Islanders a 2-0 first-period lead.
"They started pretty hard," Crosby said. "They capitalized on their chances . . . We stayed patient."
Crosby also had some advice and words of wisdom for Islanders captain and probable Canadian Olympic teammate John Tavares: Keep plugging away and don't change a thing.
"I think all you can do is stick with it," he said. "He's a big part of their team, a big leader. He's a guy who leads by example, no matter whether they're winning or losing. Just doing the same thing."
Crosby heeded his own advice, doing what he does best and making life miserable for the Islanders again.