CROSBY RALLIES PENGUINS PAST CANUCKS
Playing in Vancouver, the scene of the 2010 Gold Medal game, brings out some heroics for Sidney Crosby and it happened again Tuesday night.
The Penguins blew a 2-0 lead as the Vancouver Canucks scored four unanswered goals, including three third period goals and the Canucks appeared on their way to an impressive 4-2 win but not so fast.
With the goalie pulled, the Penguins had a roaring comeback, as Kris Letang scored at 18:49 of the third period to get the Penguins within one goal at 4-3 and Sidney Crosby tied it up at 4-4, 16 seconds later.
On the game tying goal, Chris Kunitz in front batted a puck into Crosby’s direction who was positioned next to the post and the Canucks left Crosby all alone who kicked the puck to his stick and put it past backup goaltender Eddie Lack to send the game to overtime.
Kunitz made a great play in front on the puck as the Canucks were out of position defensively. “That was an unbelievable play by Chris Kunitz,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.
After a scoreless overtime, Crosby wasn’t finished as he would be the lone goal scorer in the shootout, leading the Penguins to a 5-4 shootout win.
“To be down two with that much time left, we knew we had to get two quick ones and we found a way,” Crosby said.
Crosby finished the game with a goal and assist, and was 15-15 (50%) in the faceoff circle. On Letang’s goal with 1:11 left in regulation, Crosby beat Ryan Kesler on the draw, leading to Letang’s goal from the point.
Brian Gibbons (2) and Evgeni Malkin (12) also scored in the win. Marc Andre Fleury earned his league leading 25th win of the season but it was not a strong night for Fleury who is now 9-8-1 with a 2.64 GAA and .895 save percentage on the road this season.
The Penguins a top the Eastern Conference with 65 points, improved to 32-12-1
Bylsma becomes winningest coach in Penguins history
It was a memorable night for Dan Bylsma who become the winningest coach in Penguins history, earning win No. 233.
“Memorable game, yes,” Bylsma said. “I knew the number at the start of the season, but I didn’t think we’d be getting it this quickly. To pass an Eddie Johnson, he’s a big figure in our dressing room and a big figure in our organization, and it’s a milestone.”
Whether the Penguins win another Cup with Bylsma or not, I strongly believe Bylsma is going to be the coach here for a very long time — as long as Ray Shero remains GM. Bylsma’s going to have an opportunity to run those win numbers up pretty high before it’s all said and done.