Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malki

Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to 25 games as Penguins trash Thrashers


Sidney Crosby extended what is clearly the best scoring streak of the post-lockout era tonight with a two goal, two assist performance as the Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3. His 25-game streak features 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points, averaging exactly two points per game.

At this point, it might be safe to say that Crosby isn’t really competing with Alex Ovechkin and other high-scoring contemporary forwards, but rather that he’s battling some of the best players in NHL history. Keeping in mind that he’s only 23-years-old and the fact that league-wide defense has evolved profoundly since the laughable scoring days of the ’80s and other offense-minded eras, Crosby is experiencing the kind of run that might put him in line with the best of the best.

Overall, Crosby has 32 goals and 33 assists for 65 points in 38 games played during the 2010-11 season. Before he tied Steven Stamkos for the Maurice Richard Trophy with 51 goals in 09-10, Crosby’s career high for goals scored in a season was 36. He has an outside chance of matching that total by the end of the Winter Classic on Saturday.

Box Score: Pittsburgh 6, Atlanta 3

Crosby was the star of the show, but Matt Cooke (one goal and one assist) and Marc-Andre Fleury (31 out of 34 saves) provided some good work too for the East-leading Penguins.

Philadelphia holds three games in hand over Pittsburgh, but the Penguins ensured the fact that they’ll maintain their division (and conference) lead over the Flyers for at least one more night even if they beat the Vancouver Canucks in a game that’s about to start. That’s because the Penguins hold a three point lead at this very moment.

Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Eric Boulton scored Atlanta’s goals while Bryan Little had two assists. This marks the Thrashers’ fourth loss in a row and though they might face the threat of slipping to eighth in the conference with another defeat or two, they still have a decent hold on a playoff spot at this point.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: