Sidney Crosby bats another puck out of mid-air for OT winner

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Another day, another Sidney Crosby goal that’s batted out of mid-air.

Yes, Sid the Kid did it once again on Thursday night, channeling his inner baseball player to slug home the game-winning goal in overtime against the New Jersey Devils.

[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on the networks of NBC]

This time, Crosby shoots the puck off the post and then drives home the rebound with that sweet swing to complete the trick shot.

This comes a week after Sidney Crosby scored in similar fashion against Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens.

Crosby is evolving, and goalies aren’t liking it.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Sidney Crosby scores incredible goal, again (video)

AT&T Sportsnet
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Oh, Sidney.

Just when you thought you’ve seen everything from Crosby, he has this uncanny knack and making sure you haven’t forgotten who he is and makes sure, once again, that you never will.

Crosby did Crosby things one again on Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens. I can save you the explanation of the second-period goal, since it’s pretty incredible and, as a consequence, tough to explain in words.

Let’s roll some of the footage here, shall we?

And another angle:

Carey Price didn’t have a chance.

Crosby has grown pretty good at batting pucks out of mid-air. Poor Antti Niemi:

Remember this from John Tavares?

It was pretty special too and done in similar fashion:


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Sidney Crosby gets elusive 400th goal

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Be sure to visit NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympic Talk for full hockey coverage from PyeongChang.

Sidney Crosby‘s 400th goal likely inspired contradictory responses of “Finally” and “That was fast.”

In the framework of Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Blues on NBC, it was fast. The Blues went up 1-0 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second period, yet 21 seconds later, Crosby collected that milestone tally.

The “finally” part comes because Crosby went 10 games without a goal, collecting his 399th on Jan. 14. With 13 assists during that span, few were complaining about that goal drought, but Crosby probably feels relieved nonetheless.

(Crosby seemingly scored his 400th about a week ago, but that was [justifiably] called off for goalie interference.)

With time to add to his totals this afternoon, Crosby currently sits at 400 goals and 688 assists for 1,088 points in 839 regular-season games. It stands as another impressive, rare milestone for Crosby; Evgeni Malkin should join this group fairly soon, as he’s currently at 358 goals:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin make history

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Sidney Crosby (30) and Alex Ovechkin (32) aren’t old, but they’re old enough to really start piling up impressive milestones.

Each superstar made some history on Thursday with assists. In the case of Ovechkin, he collected the 500th assist on his career, although Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s helper was the real “wow” moment of Nicklas Backstrom‘s goal. (See that in the video above this post’s headline.)

Ovechkin joins some select company, as he’s closing in on 600 goals. This is the 970th regular-season game of his career.

Crosby’s first assist on Thursday gave him his 1,080th point with the Penguins, placing him ahead of Jaromir Jagr at second all-time for franchise scoring.

It’s a pretty sweet one, too, with Crosby using his peripheral vision to set the table for Dominik Simon:

As of this writing, Crosby has three assists in this game. This is just the 833rd game of Crosby’s career, so yes, this is a remarkable run; Jagr scored his 1,080 points in just 806 games. Both players = ridiculous.

In case you’re wondering, Evgeni Malkin has a ways to go to pass Jagr as well. Geno came into Thursday with 881 points in 752 games, adding two goals and an assist against an overmatched Wild team. The Penguins ended up winning 6-3.

Ovechkin’s Capitals look like they’re in line for a postseason berth, while the Penguins are looking increasingly likely to grind their way into the playoffs, too. That’s likely most important to both players, but maybe they can take a moment to enjoy some of these outstanding individual accomplishments.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Sidney Crosby hangs with rookies as Penguins prep for Cup defense

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CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) Sidney Crosby likes his summers short. Really short. Short summers for Crosby means long playoff runs for the Pittsburgh Penguins, ones that usually end with parades through the city in mid-June, the Penguins captain holding the Stanley Cup aloft.

There is no other feeling like it. So the question isn’t why would Crosby want to cut the celebration short, but why would he want to put off starting the process all over again?

So just 88 days after Pittsburgh closed out Nashville in six games to become the first team in nearly two decades to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, Crosby found himself out on the ice with assorted prospects, many of whom have little chance of making it to the NHL this season.

That didn’t stop Crosby and his familiar No. 87 jersey serving as perhaps the most decorated “welcome wagon” in professional sports. For the better part of an hour the face of the game skated with the newcomers. Later in the afternoon the more established players went through a workout of their own, well aware of the message Crosby’s appearance in the building earlier in the day sent.

“I think that’s where it starts with this team,” said forward Carl Hagelin after a voluntary workout. “Any new guy that comes up or any new guy that gets traded here, they get treated extremely well by Sid first of all and then the organization. You kind of follow his lead. There’s a good culture within this locker room and within this organization. When you get here, you’ve got to follow or you’re going to get left behind.”

Crosby makes it a point to be the first one to extend a hand, even though it can make for occasionally awkward moments, particularly for players like forward Ryan Reaves. The Penguins acquired Reaves from St. Louis over the summer looking to give their lineup a physical presence. The issue, of course, is that part of Reaves’ responsibilities during his time in St. Louis was making Crosby as uncomfortable as possible whenever the two teams met.

“I would say me and Sid’s relationship before this was rocky,” Reaves said with a laugh. “But I don’t know many people that like me on the ice though. But we’ve hung out a couple times. Really nice guy for sure.”

Reaves joined some of his new teammates in a fantasy football draft over the weekend. Reaves believes he has an eye for talent. He also has an eye for leadership. He wasn’t exactly surprised when he arrived at the rink and Crosby was already out there working with kids who may never actually play alongside him.

“That’s why he’s the best in the world,” Reaves said. “He does things like that and he makes the younger guys better and he pushes everybody to be the best. He’s the best in the world for a reason.”

One intent on guiding the Penguins to a third consecutive Cup, something that hasn’t been done since the New York Islanders ripped off four straight in the early 1980s, long before the salary cap came around, a move designed to level the playing field both financially and competitively. It didn’t look like that last spring as the Penguins raced by Columbus, outlasted Washington and Ottawa then pulled away from the upstart Predators in the final.

“Last year everyone said it was impossible to do, winning two in a row,” said Hagelin, whose empty-net goal in the final seconds of Game 6 quieted the “Smashville” crowd and clinched Pittsburgh’s fifth Cup. “Everyone is going to come after you. Now we’re used to that and we’re expecting the same thing this year. There’s going to be no surprises this year obviously.”

Doing it means enduring training camp, a six-month regular season followed by eight more weeks in the crucible of playoff hockey. The Penguins were supposed to be too tired from the Cup run in 2016 to do it again. And yet they did. As the official opening of camp looms, the lure of history is giving even established players like Hagelin a dose of adrenaline.

“Usually this time of year, you have such a short summer, maybe you’re kind of dreading it a little bit,” Hagelin said.

Not Hagelin. He missed a chunk of the regular season and the playoffs with injuries but returned in time to make an impact in the final, his legs a blur as he sped away from the Predators to flip in the goal that secured his name on the Cup for a second time.

“Focusing on coming out and getting a good start, that’s usually the tough part, to have every guy on the same page in the beginning of the year to really dig down and make sure you win those games,” he said. “That’s our goal. After that we just keep playing and keep getting better, that’s the type of team we’re trying to be.”