St. Louis put an odd-angle backhander between Marc-Andre Fleury's pads for the only successful shot in the shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning shook off Crosby's acrobatic goal to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Sunday night.
Fleury stopped Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier to start the shootout, but St. Louis skated down the slot and faked out the goalie by going to his backhand and then slipping the puck between the goalie's legs as he skated alongside the net.
"I wanted to try something different, maybe something he hasn't seen before," said St. Louis, who had been 0-for-2 in shootout attempts. "I think I caught him off guard a bit, maybe changed things up a little bit."
Crosby had a chance to send the shootout to another round but, like Eric Christensen and Evgeni Malkin before him, couldn't get the puck past Johan Holmqvist. Crosby's hard wrist shot went wide of the net.
Holmqvist has stopped all 10 skaters he has faced in shootouts this season.
"I just tried to give them nothing to shoot at," Holmqvist said. "I was in good position. It was a little revenge because it was Crosby."
The Penguins had done almost nothing offensively against the team that has allowed the fewest shots in the league until Crosby's goal late in the closing seconds of the second period tied it at 1.
Nolan Pratt's shot on a good scoring chance slammed off the rear boards, allowing Mark Recchi to start a break the other way. With defenceman Cory Sarich trying to defend on the 2-on-1, Recchi came down the right wing boards and threw a pass toward Crosby in the left circle.
Crosby slipped to one knee as he stretched out, then two knees and, finally, was on his stomach as the puck arrived. Somehow, Crosby not only got his stick on it but deftly lifted it over Holmqvist and into the side of the net with five seconds remaining for his 20th goal. The NHL's leading scorer has 64 points.
"The puck was a little bit ahead, so I just reached for it. I just tried to angle my stick up so the puck would get up but I wasn't sure if it was going to go in," Crosby said.
Remarkably, Crosby's slide from his knees to his stomach wasn't entirely unintentional.
"I was going to two knees to try to find a better look at the puck," Crosby said. "The puck ended up coming a little bit ahead of me so I just lunged for it."
The sellout crowd of 17,132, the Penguins' sixth in a row and 10th in 12 games, gave Crosby such a lengthy standing ovation that it caused a brief delay in the ensuing faceoff.
Crosby's goal marked the second time in as many games the Penguins scored in the final five seconds of the second period. Malkin scored with three seconds remaining in a 4-2 victory in Buffalo on Friday.
Tampa Bay, going 2-2 on a circuitous Montreal-Minnesota-Colorado-Pittsburgh road trip, had taken a 1-0 lead on Ryan Craig's power-play goal about seven minutes into the second period. Craig also assisted on Tarnasky's goal.
Nick Tarnasky put the Lightning up 2-1 in the third period by scoring off his own rebound to the high slot, only his second goal. Recchi, who also set up Crosby's goal, tied it on a power-play goal set up by Crosby with 2½ minutes left in regulation.
Crosby's pass found Recchi at the top of the crease, and the puck deflected off Recchi and Sarich's skate and into the net. Recchi's 10th goal and 1,300th career point was initially waved off, but a lengthy video replay determined Recchi didn't kick the puck into the net.
Tampa Bay has won 10 in a row against Pittsburgh dating to Jan. 17, 2003, including an overtime 4-3 decision in Mellon Arena on Lecavalier's goal on Nov. 8.
"This is getting a little old," Recchi said.
Notes: Pittsburgh had won three in a row. ... The Penguins' 13th sellout, one more than last season, was their sixth in a row. ... Tampa Bay is 7-2 against the Atlantic Division. The teams meet again Tuesday night in Tampa. ... The Lightning are 14-2 when they allow two goals or fewer. ... Recchi scored his 494th career goal.