Playing with Crosby keeps Guerin young

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:01 AM ET

As Sidney Crosby’s right winger, 39-year-old veteran Bill Guerin has a great seat at a spectacular show.

And he’s enjoying every minute of it.

“I haven’t really played with a guy who’s born for it, like him,” Guerin, who broke into the NHL in 1991-92 and is five games shy of playing his 1,400th (regular season and playoffs combined) game. “That’s pretty neat for an old guy like me to be a part of. I’m going to keep myself in good shape, work my ass off and make sure I can still be around as long as I can to see this.

“Everybody makes a big deal out of Sid’s goals and assists and stuff like that,” he added. “Those are special qualities he has, but I don’t really think that’s the biggest thing that sets him apart.

“A lot of guys have drive, a lot of guys want to win, but with his drive and will, plus his talent, his physical makeup and all that stuff ... it makes something pretty special.”

Guerin, who had a goal and an assist in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win over the Senators Sunday, called Crosby’s goal with 45 seconds left in the second period a big lift for his team.

“It was obviously a big goal,” he said. “Ottawa’s been playing real stingy hockey. We don’t get a ton of scoring chances. When we do, we have to make sure we make the most of it.”

While Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips are usually on the ice with Crosby, Matt Carkner and Andy Sutton were left to contain him in the final minute of the second. Crosby beat Sutton in a battle along the boards and fended off the defenceman while he skated into position to score.

“The guys just drove the net,” he said. “I just tried to take it across the net. I was able to hold on to it for a little bit and find an opening there.”

Crosby said Marc-Andre Fleury’s third-period save off Jason Spezza was key. With the Penguins up 3-1, Fleury sprawled to keep the puck from crossing the line.

“That’s another close call,” said Crosby. “That’s what he’s there to do, to make those big saves. He’s done that time and time again.”

The game’s first goal by Alexei Ponikarovsky just 1:17 in was also a big.

“If anything, that gives you some confidence to come out like that,” Crosby said. “You’ve still got to stick with it. We know there’s a lot of hockey left when you score that early.

“It’s good, but it’s only good if you don’t sit on it and allow them to keep coming back.

“When they look at their game, I don’t think they’re going to be too disappointed with a lot of things either,” Crosby added. “They had some good chances. This is a game that came down to execution. We made the most of our opportunities and got a big save from Flower there.”


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