The magic wasn't quite there for the Penguins in game No. 2 of Sidney Crosby's comeback.
Though Pittsburgh was able to erase deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 in the third period on goals by Steve Sullivan and James Neal, St. Louis was simply too much in overtime as the Penguins fell 3-2 against the Blues on an Alex Piertrangelo goal 4:07 into the extra session on Wednesday night at the Consol Energy Center.
In his second game back from injury, Crosby registered just two shots and failed to put up any points in 18:41 of ice time. The highlight of his night was a scrap with the Blues' David Backes in the second period. Crosby threw a couple of punches in the direction of the St. Louis winger as the teams clashed after a play in front of the Blues' net. Referees quickly broke things up and Crosby escaped without taking any hits as both players were hit with roughing penalties.
"Whether it's rust or not being ready or focused or whatever it was, that's not good enough," Crosby told reporters of his performance after the game as seen on ROOT Sports. "I've got to make sure that I'm much better."
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had a busy night in taking the loss. He saved 40 of 43 shots, good for a .930 save percentage, though not enough for the victory.
Evgeni Malkin was the offensive star of the night for Pittsburgh, picking up assists on both third period goals. He was active throughout the evening, too, registering four shots of his own while setting up teammates for several solid scoring opportunities. He also won seven of his 10 faceoffs.
Overall, though, the team struggled to maintain the energy of Monday night's 5-0 win against the Islanders, something Crosby wasn't pleased with after the game.
"No real explanation or excuses," Crosby said. "[In] the third we were much more desperate and got to our game a bit more and got good results but we didn't deserve that one."
The Penguins return to action on Friday night when they host the Ottawa Senators at 7:08 p.m. back at the Consol Energy Center.