Jarome Iginla debuts, Sidney Crosby hit by puck, Penguins win

Sidney Crosby is helped off the ice after being hit in the mouth by a puck. The Pens won their 15th straight.
Sidney Crosby is helped off the ice after being hit in the mouth by a puck. The Pens won their 15th straight. (AP)
Posted: April 01, 2013

Despite losing their captain, the Pittsburgh Penguins found a way to finish the month unbeaten.

The Pens welcomed star forward Jarome Iginla, but lost Sidney Crosby early in the first period after he was hit in the mouth by a puck.

Still, the Penguins managed to overcome the injury to Crosby on Saturday for their 15th straight victory as Matt Cooke and James Neal scored third-period goals during a 2-0 victory against the New York Islanders.

Crosby skated off the ice with a towel covering his mouth after a slap shot by teammate Brooks Orpik deflected off a stick and hit the NHL scoring leader in the face 1 minute, 28 seconds into the game. Crosby, who immediately fell to the ice and dropped his stick, did not return.

Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves as Pittsburgh moved within two wins of the NHL record of 17 straight victories set by Mario Lemieux and the 1992-93 Penguins.

Coach Dan Bylsma said Crosby, who has 15 goals and 56 points, lost several teeth and needed oral surgery. He did not know if Crosby would miss additional time and wasn't sure if the injury affected his jaw.

"I just know he had some issues with his teeth," Bylsma said. "Just from the replay, I know that."

"When you see the replay, he had no chance to move," Iginla said.

Elsewhere: Carey Price made 34 saves as the host Montreal Canadiens shut out the New York Rangers, 3-0. . . . Dmitry Kulikov scored at 1:43 of overtime and the Florida Panthers beat the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, in Sunrise, Fla.

Blues, Sabres deal. The Buffalo Sabres traded defenseman Jordan Leopold to the St. Louis Blues.

      - Associated Press

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