Struggling Crosby not interested in excuses

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Sidney Crosby is refusing to make excuses for his poor start to the season, despite the Pittsburgh Penguins’ current winning streak.

Crosby has scored just one goal and five points in the opening 11 games of the season – an almost unprecedented barren run in a success-laden 11-year professional career.

However, the 28-year-old has taken full responsibility for his slump and vowed to focus on putting it right.

“I don’t think you can accept not scoring,” he said.

“Just as we have as a team found ways, individually shots are good, but it’s better to have one shot and one goal than five and no goals.

“You’ve just got to find a way to bury the chances, and I think ultimately that’s on me. I’ve got to find a way to bury my chances.

“But there are no guarantees that because you’re getting chances that it’s going to go in. So you really have to focus on bearing down and take advantage.”

The Penguins have won their last four games, including an authoritative 4-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs last time out.

Crosby failed to contribute any points against Toronto, but did produce a strong showing in the previous game against Buffalo, registering two assists and a solid 200-foot game in the 4-3 win.

Despite Crosby taking ownership for his struggle to find scoring momentum, long-term team-mate Evgeni Malkin insists it’s a simple case of “bad luck” and backed him to silence any critics he may have as the season progresses.

“He’s had a couple chances every game,” Malkin said.

“But the puck’s not coming in. It’s a little bit of bad luck right now, but he’s still the best player on ice every game.

“It’s just a little bit maybe [he has to] relax and just work hard. [There are] lots of games, it’s a long season.”