Sidney Crosby plays a major role in one of the Vancouver Canucks' worst chokes of the year


Superstar Sidney Crosby's goal in the shootout tonight finished off the Vancouver Canucks, who blew a two goal lead near the end of regulation time.

Pittsburgh emerged with a 5-4 win in Crosby's first visit to Rogers Arena since his golden goal for Canada's men's Olympic hockey team in 2010.

Crosby also tied the game at 19:05 of the third period, just 16 seconds after he had assisted on Penguin Kris Letang's goal.

It was a monumental choke in a season marked by many points lost late in the third period.

A subdued coach John Tortorella called the defeat "a doozy". 

But he also praised his team, saying it had played well up until the last 1:11 of the third period.

"I thought we showed more confidence tonight," he said.

Tortorella added that he's "ecstatic" that the team took away a point.

On the bright side, wingers Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian played well for Vancouver.

Pittsburgh seemed in control after goals by Brian Gibbins on the first period and Evgeni Malkin at 5:25 of the second period.

But a Crosby turnover helped the Canucks narrow the gap to 2-1 on a goal by defenceman Jason Garrison before the end of the second frame.

Goals by Chris Tanev, Chris Higgins, and Zack Kassian put the Canucks in control in the third period.

But goalie Eddie Lack couldn't hold the lead.

Canucks captain Henrik Sedin didn't take any face-offs in the game, suggesting that Tortorella has lost confidence in him in this role.

The Sedins were also kept off the scoresheet.

The Canucks have only won 11 of their 22 home games this season.

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