The Pittsburgh Penguins sure look like a team that has won back to back Stanley Cups these days.
And there’s no shortage of reasons why.
Scoring has come in abundance during their current four-game winning streak, their longest of the season after taking down the hapless Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Saturday. The Pens have lit the lamp no less than four times in each of those four games, scoring 19 during that span.
Some of their resurgence stems from Sidney Crosby returning to Sidney Crosby form.
Crosby has been lights out, sporting a six-game point streak (including a five-game goal-scoring streak) with six goals and seven assists. Crosby had struggled prior to his recent outburst, with just one goal and five assists in his previous 14 games before embarking on the heater.
Stick with scoring, another one of Pittsburgh’s keys to success during their winning streak has been scoring first.
The Penguins are now 13-2-2 when scoring first, as opposed to 2-8-1 when their opponent finds twine before they do. Furthermore, Pittsburgh has yet to lose in regulation when leading after 20 minutes, going 9-0-1 this season.
And perhaps most importantly, the fall off in the crease with Matt Murray out of the lineup with a lower-body injury has been non-existent.
Tristan Jarry has been a godsend to a team that looked to be in trouble when Murray exited a game earlier this week.
But Jarry recorded a shutout on Friday night against the Sabres and then allowed just one goal on 32 shots on Saturday against that same Buffalo team.
Jarry and Co. have a much stiffer schedule on the horizon, with dates against the high-flying New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs over the next week.
But they’re far from looking ill-equipped, even with Murray out for the next couple of weeks.