Sidney Crosby collected two assists on Monday to push his 2013-14 points total to 20 in 12 games, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1.
The 26-year-old builds his NHL league leading total, which is being threatened to some extent by Steven Stamkos (17 points in 11 contests) as of late.
Both of Crosby’s assists were primary ones, as he set up a Chris Kunitz tally and the first goal of Jayson Megna’s career:
If Crosby maintains his current scoring pace, he’ll blow away his career-high of 120 points with 136. Of course, that assumes he’d be healthy, which is far from a guarantee considering his recent history. The Oct. 21 game against Colorado is the only contest the Penguins’ star has failed to score a point in.
This win leaves the Penguins at 16 points (8-4-0) on the season, while Carolina falls to 4-5-3 (11 points). The Hurricanes seemingly dodged a bullet as Jordan Staal returned to the bench after what looked like a scary fall during today’s game.
(If it turns out Staal is hurt, PHT will pass word along.)
Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?