Another game, three more points for Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
The 24-year-old now has five assists in six periods since returning from a three-plus month injury layoff due to concussion symptoms. He has two goals and 17 points in 10 games played this season, and 83 points in 51 games dating back to last season.
At 1.62 points per game, those numbers project to 133 points over a full 82-game season.
Since adding Crosby into the lineup, the white-hot Penguins haven’t missed a beat. Now winners of 11 straight games, the Penguins sit just two points behind the New York Rangers for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers play the Colorado Avalanche tonight.
NHL points leader Evgeni Malkin scored a goal – off a ridiculous one-knee cross-ice pass from Sid – and added an assist of his own today to stretch his lead to three points over Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos.
In all honesty, he may have given up five goals, but Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was the best player on the ice. He stopped Crosby on multiple chances and made more unbelievable saves than he allowed goals. The Penguins took 43 shots today and could have scored double digits. Brodeur was flat out great.
The Penguins head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers tomorrow afternoon. Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to be in net once again. After all, he pretty much got today off.
Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is suddenly good. Flyers fans have gone from wanting to unload his nine-year contract at the Trade Deadline to calling him the best goaltender the city has seen since Ron Hextall. Typical. It’ll last for a few more games and when he allows four goals per game in the playoffs, Philadelphians will throw ice balls at him.
The Flyers are playing some pretty good hockey as of late, though they lost in a shootout today to the Boston Bruins.
Here are some fun facts to hold you over until tomorrow’s 12:38 PM start.
– The Penguins outshot the Devils 43-14 today.
– Pittsburgh now owns the NHL’s longest win streak of the season (11).
– The Penguins have won each of their last three games 5-2 over three of the top teams in the Eastern Conference (Boston, New York Rangers, New Jersey)
– The Penguins haven’t lost a game since February 19.
– The team has killed 25 straight penalties and hasn’t allowed a power play goal since February 25.
– Marc-Andre Fleury has won 10 straight games and hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a game this month.
– Today’s win marked the franchise’s 1500th, becoming the 11th team in NHL history to do so.
– Jordan Staal has a 10-game assist streak.
– Malkin became the sixth player in Penguins history to score 40 goals in multiple seasons.
– The Penguins are the only team in the NHL to have five 20-goal scorers. They are one of two teams to have two 30-goal scorers (New York Islanders). Pretty awesome considering how often Flyers fans brag about their “depth.”
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