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Pens continue slide, drop 7th straight to Canucks

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks may have taught Sidney
Crosby another valuable lesson during his never-dull rookie season:
Goal scorers should be goal scorers and not try to be enforcers.

Todd Bertuzzi's fourth goal in two games gave Vancouver a
two-goal lead, and Henrik Sedin sealed it with a power-play score
in the third period as the Canucks beat Pittsburgh 4-2 Monday
night, the Penguins' seventh consecutive loss.

Crosby, the 18-year-old Penguins rookie, scored his first goal
during the losing streak and 22nd overall during another eventful
night, engaging in several shoving matches and taking two more
penalties.

Crosby, the Penguins' leading scorer with 51 points but also
their most penalized player, is increasingly being targeted for
physical play because of his willingness to retaliate and take
penalties.

"He got frustrated out there," said the Canucks' Brendan
Morrison, who scored a goal and set up Bertuzzi's goal. "When you
play against a guy like that who's a good competitor and wants to
win, plays with an edge, sometimes that is to your advantage. If
you're going to give a hit you have to expect to be hit."

Morrison said the word is spreading around the NHL that the best
way to get to the Penguins is to get Crosby worked up.

"It seems like he's trying to go after everybody," Morrison
said. "He's wasting too much energy on that instead of
concentrating on playing."

Crosby was whistled for roughing late in the second period and
took a slashing penalty early in the third, when the Penguins were
pushing for the tying goal after Mark Recchi scored in the final
minute of the second period to cut it to 3-2.

Instead, the Crosby penalty and John LeClair's tripping penalty
about a minute later gave the Canucks an extended stretch of
power-play time, and Sedin took advantage to score his 11th.
Marc-Andre Fleury left a rebound of Mattias Ohlund's shot in front
of him, and Sedin pushed it past Fleury for his second goal in two
games.

Michel Therrien, who took over as the Penguins' coach a month
ago, has been trying to toughen up a relatively young team, another
possible reason why Crosby is becoming so feisty.

"We were physical and the difference is they have experienced
players," Therrien said. "It's the little things sometimes, the
rebounds around the net, sometimes the defenseman's not there to
pick up the rebounds or make the little chip up the wall to make
sure the puck is going out."

Crosby's 22 goals and 29 assists put him second among rookie
scorers to Alexander Ovechkin, who has 58 points for Washington.
But Crosby's 79 penalty minutes rank third among rookies.

"They try to keep a close eye on me, they just wanted to play
the body and get their hands up a little bit when they're
hitting," Crosby said. "I expect every game to be physical."

Vancouver goalie Alexander Auld wonders if all this losing may
be wearing on Crosby.

"You can see it. It has to be tough for him," Auld said.
"There's a lot of pressure on him. He's handled it well, and I'm
sure losing is frustrating for him."

Vancouver won its fifth in six games after dropping four of
five. The Canucks had a night to rest after beating the Islanders
8-1 on Saturday behind Bertuzzi's three goals -- he had been shut
out in his previous 10 -- while the Penguins were coming off a 5-4
loss in Nashville on Sunday night.

Crosby put Pittsburgh ahead by tipping in LeClair's rebound
attempt off Sergei Gonchar's shot from the right point during a
5-on-3 advantage in the first period. Defenseman Steve McCarthy
tied it later in the period with a slap shot from the top of the
left circle.

Morrison put the Canucks up 2-1 early in the second by
deflecting Nolan Baumgartner's shot. Bertuzzi pushed the lead to
3-1 when defenseman Josef Melichar did nothing to try to move him
out from in front of the crease during a power play and Morrison
set him up for Bertuzzi's 16th goal. Penguins defenseman Dick
Tarnstrom was off for tripping.

Auld stopped 23 shots as Pittsburgh lost its third in a row at
home.

Game notes
The Canucks are 8-1 against Eastern Conference teams. ...
Pittsburgh is 1-4 against the Northwest Division. ... The Canucks
are 16-3-3 when a defenseman scores. .. Vancouver was 2-of-6 on the
power play and is 10-of-34 in five games. ... Vancouver went 3-1 on
a road trip that began with a 3-0 loss Friday to New Jersey.