Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

18 Comments

The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One
Getty Images
18 Comments

What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

Oh, and here’s his second goal of the night. Not bad.

Video: Sidney Crosby with a ‘How did he do that?’ goal

18 Comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins remain hit-or-miss when it comes to grabbing wins under Mike Sullivan, but it must be nice to see Sidney Crosby returning to his normal, dominant self.

More specifically, it means that Crosby is once again accomplishing things few hockey humans could pull off, like the goal in the video above.

(Seriously, that’s a pretty inane angle right there.)

The NHL tweeted it out, if you’d prefer to see the goal that way:

Sidney Crosby scores twice to stay hot, Penguins beat Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes
2 Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) Resurgent Sidney Crosby scored two power-play goals, Marc-Andre Fleury returned from a concussion and made 38 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Saturday night.

Crosby scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season and has 10 points in his last seven games. After scoring just six goals in his first 32 games, Crosby has five scores in his last five contests.

Fleury made his first start since Dec. 14. The Penguins won just three of eight games without him.

Pittsburgh has won four of six after dropping its first four games under new coach Mike Sullivan.

Evgeni Malkin had three assists and has seven points over his last three games. Kris Letang also had three assists and has six points over his last two games. Phil Kessel scored his 12th of the season, Patric Hornqvist his eighth and Matt Cullen added a short-handed goal and an assist.

John Tavares got his 15th goal and Nick Leddy also scored for New York after the Penguins built a 5-0 lead.

The Penguins have nine power-play goals in their last seven games. They scored two against the Islanders, who killed a franchise-record 42 straight penalties before allowing one against Buffalo on Thursday night.

The Islanders had won three of four. The Islanders won the final four meetings against Pittsburgh last season and were unbeaten in regulation against Metropolitan Division opponents entering Saturday.

Islanders’ goaltender Thomas Greiss got the start against his former team, making 22 saves on 26 shots before he was pulled in the second period. Christopher Gibson made 16 saves in his NHL debut.

Greiss started for Jaroslav Halak, who missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury. Greiss won nine times in 18 starts in 2014-15, his only season with the Penguins. This season he has 11 wins in 19 appearances.

Kessel put Pittsburgh ahead 3:34 into the game, converting Cullen’s behind-the-net feed from the slot.

Crosby got his first goal later in the period. He chipped the rebound from Malkin’s point shot over the outstretched pad of Greiss. It was part of a dominant, 20-shot opening period from the Penguins.

Crosby scored his second midway through the second period when he snapped a sharp wrist shot underneath the crossbar.

Cullen scored on a 2-on-1 34 seconds later. Hornqvist tipped Brian Dumoulin‘s point shot past Gibson later in the period as Pittsburgh scored three second-period goals on 10 shots.

NOTES: Pittsburgh won for just the second time in eight home games. … The Penguins reassigned G Matt Murray, who won two of his first four NHL starts. … Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck left the game with an upper-body injury. … Islanders D Johnny Boychuck sat with an upper-body injury. … Penguins C Nick Bonino played in his 300th NHL game. … Pittsburgh will host Chicago on Tuesday night before playing its next four on the road. The Islanders will play eight of their next 10 at home, starting Sunday when they host Dallas.

Uh oh: Sidney Crosby’s day-to-day with lower-body injury

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates during the first day of NHL hockey training camp, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP
21 Comments

Pittsburgh Penguins fans might be wise not to ask the question: “Can it get any worse?”

The answer’s just about always “Yes.”

Sunday presented the latest evidence, as the team announced that Sidney Crosby is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. As you likely know, this word comes a day after the Penguins lost their fifth straight game, with Mike Sullivan still lacking a win as their new head coach.

Woof, that’s a paragraph loaded with sadness. Almost a factory of sadness, even.

Allow a few bits of mild optimism, then.

Yes, this isn’t good. Some might even cite this as evidence to why No. 87 has suffered from such a puzzling lack of offense.

Could the Penguins just be picking a smart time to give Crosby a much-needed breather, though?

During this holiday week, the Penguins will get a big break. They face the Blue Jackets in Pittsburgh and then go on a siesta until a back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday.

Wouldn’t that be the perfect time to sit their embattled leader?

No, this isn’t a good thing. Even so, it might not be such a bad situation in the big picture.