With their season on the brink of collapse, the Pittsburgh Penguins needed a good start for tonight’s big game in Ottawa.
Ten seconds in, the captain delivered.
Sidney Crosby scored his 28th goal of the year just moments after the opening faceoff, giving Pittsburgh a much-needed lead in a game that looms large in the Eastern Conference wildcard picture.
Here’s the goal:
The Pens didn’t slow down after No. 87’s goal, either. Beau Bennett scored his first in 30 games just five minutes later to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
Sidney Crosby reached a career milestone with his goal to open the scoring against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of Wednesday’s rivalry game.
The Penguins star and captain scored his 300th career NHL goal — in his 622nd regular season game — at 3:29 of the opening period. It’s his 26th goal of the season. In what has supposedly been a down year for Crosby, his goal Wednesday is also his league-leading 80th point.
Bob McKenzie was in the NBCSN studio on Wednesday at an ideal time, as he was able to add some color to the talk of 3-on-3 overtime and other issues from the NHL GM meetings.
McKenzie passes along some interesting tidbits, especially how Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk and others feel about the idea of having all that extra room in OT.
How close is the NHL to adopting 3-on-3 OT?
Most players would kill to score 71 points in 64 games for a playoff-caliber team, but those totals are relatively weak for Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby. At least, that’s what many would argue.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is tired of such notions, as he told the Canadian Press.
“It’s total nitpicking because there’s nothing wrong with him,” Rutherford said Monday at the general managers meeting. “His play, to me, has been as good as it’s ever been.”
Rutherford praises Crosby for buying in to working hard in all areas of the ice instead of “cheating” to create offense.
The 27-year-old sang a similar tune about his overall play a few days ago, stating that he wouldn’t change anything that he’s been doing (although he’d love to score more).
The offense has been there in the same volume, indeed. He’s scoring at a rate of 1.11 point-per-game, which is the lowest average of his career (his previous low was 1.26 from his rookie season). Still, his possession stats look fine, and one could argue that the bounces haven’t been there in the same quantities at times in 2014-15.
Honestly, one can understand the frustration for Crosby and the Penguins in general, as any perceived cold streak is placed under the magnifying glass. It’s easy to forget that Pittsburgh remains an East contender and Crosby could very well win another Art Ross Trophy despite missing a chunk of games with injury issues.
Not that bad of a problem to have then, right?
Sidney Crosby was a late scratch this afternoon as the Pittsburgh Penguins play host to the Boston Bruins.
Crosby took the pre-game skate, but did not return to the ice for puck drop.
Craig Adams has replaced Crosby in the lineup.
Here’s the NHL’s explanation on the Penguins lineup change: