Dany Sabourin made 31 saves for his second shutout, Jeff Taffe scored in the first period, and Pittsburgh beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 Saturday night.
Sabourin, who got his first career shutout in a 5-0 win in New Jersey on Nov. 5, made his first appearance since Dec. 21 one night after Ty Conklin took his first regulation loss in his 11th straight start.
Pittsburgh's 3-0 loss Friday to Tampa Bay was particularly costly because Crosby sustained a high ankle sprain that will almost certainly sideline him for next weekend's All-Star game in Atlanta and may keep him out of action for several weeks.
Crosby didn't travel with the team and had his sprained and swollen right ankle re-examined Saturday by the team's medical staff. No prognosis for the defending NHL scoring champion's return will be made until the swelling subsides.
The Penguins were 0-2-2 in the four previous games Crosby had missed since he began his NHL career at the start of the 2005-06 season.
Taffe scored his second goal of the season 6:14 in when he beat Cristobal Huet on a setup by Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque. Laraque was treated like Wayne Gretzky by Canadiens defenders as he was left untouched while he held the puck behind the net. He carried it out the right side and passed to Taffe, who beat Huet for what stood up as the winning goal.
Evgeni Malkin put a backhand into an empty net with 12 seconds remaining. Montreal, which returned from a 3-1 road trip, fell to 8-8-5 at home. Huet had 25 saves in the loss.
Montreal next plays as host to the Boston Bruins, a team in which they have registered 5 wins in 5 attempts this season. Boston is red hot, having swept their home-and-home weekend matinee series with the Rangers.
*This report is based heavily on that of the Associated Press, courtesy NHL.com.