On paper, it looked like the Pittsburgh Penguins’ home winning streak was going to continue.
They were hosting the Florida Panthers, a team 27 points behind the Penguins in the Eastern Conference standings when the evening started.
But goalie Scott Clemmensen came up big with a 35-save effort and Jesse Winchester channeled his inner Sidney Crosby with three assists, as the Panthers upset the Penguins by a final score of 5-1.
It marks the first loss for the Penguins on home ice at the Consol Energy Center since Nov. 13 – more than two full months. That was against the Philadelphia Flyers, for those in need of the reminder. Because it’s been a while.
“I don’t think you’re ever due for that,” Crosby said afterward, as per NHL.com. “I don’t think we gave ourselves a chance at all with the way we competed. The way we executed was bad, so we got what we deserve there.”
Helping the Panthers cause was the fact they held the aforementioned Crosby and his Canadian Olympic teammate Chris Kunitz off the score sheet entirely.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger