Crosby puts on show

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

HAMILTON -- Had this been a figure skating event, even the Russian judge would have given Sidney Crosby a perfect score for artistic merit.

In what appeared to be just another moribund NHL preseason yawner, leave it to Sid the Kid to unveil yet another magical move in his ever-increasing repertoire.

With the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins deadlocked at 2-2 in overtime last night, Crosby suddenly wowed the estimated 8,000 fans in attendance at Copps Coliseum with a manoeuvre that didn't even result in a goal.

After faking Sabres' Brian Campbell one way, Crosby pulled off a full 360, bringing the roaring crowd onto its collective feet. Sure, he left himself too deep to get a shot on goal, but it was still a play those fortunate enough to be in the building will remember for a long time.

Forget the Savardian Spinerama. That's old news.

This was The Sidney Spinerama.

"I've practised it before," Crosby admitted matter-of-factly after the Sabres 3-2 shootout victory. "Definitely.

"It's not something I do every game. (But) sometimes you feel like you've been in that position before, and it comes natural.

"It was good looking but I didn't get anything done. I'll be back and work on it so at least I get a shot."

It was just another typical magnificent Crosby performance, one that featured two assists and a shootout goal.

Yet it was not without its blemishes either.

Midway through the third period, Crosby was tagged with a marginal tripping minor he did not agree with. Still steamed at the call when he left the penalty box, he flapped his gums a little too much, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

If there has been one criticism of Crosby, it is that he loses his cool at times.Then again, what teenager doesn't?

"It was just an emotional thing," he said. "Things are said on both sides. I know I'm not going to win that battle. Things just got heated, for sure."

Crosby and the Sabres' Thomas Vanek exchanged goals early in the shootout before the goalies took over. Each team used 11 players in the shootout, which finally ended on a goal by Buffalo's Clarke MacArthur.

The Pens boarded a bus after the game for London, where they will meet the Philadelphia Flyers today.Veteran Mark Recchi, who broke his cheekbone last week, is expected to return.

Rookie Evgeni Malkin will have his recently-separated shoulder re-evaluated tomorrow.


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