Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is arguably the best hockey player in the world. Sure he may miss more time than other “superstar players,” but when he is on the ice he is one of the few players in the league that can dominate a game in pretty much every facet. Need a set up man to thread the needle on a cross ice pass for a wide open goal? He can do that. Need someone to keep the opponent’s top line in check? He has done that effectively as well. What about scoring a backbreaking goal from a super tight angle? Ask Braden Holtby.
Last night when the Penguins were leading the Washington Capitals 2-0 late in the second period, the Capitals took a bench minor for too many men on the ice, resulting in a late period Pittsburgh Penguins power play (try saying that five times fast). The Penguins looked sharp on the ensuing power play, generating both puck and player movement, along with a few glorious scoring chances. Holtby made a few good stops (including on James Neal from point blank in the slot), but he would ultimately fall victim to one of the prettiest goals I’ve seen this season.
If you cannot see the video, Evgeni Malkin had the puck on the Penguins’ right wing side at the hash marks. He made a short pass through the faceoff circle to Chris Kunitz, who one timed a pass to Neal who was located behind the red line just outside the trapezoid to Holtby’s glove side. Neal one timed that pass through the crease to the bottom of the far side faceoff circle where Crosby was camped out all alone. Crosby, a left shot on the left side, one timed the puck top shelf from a steep angle and reminded the world why many consider him one of the greatest hockey players on the planet. He would add an assist and finish the game with two points as the Penguins won 4-0.
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