“He is just an elite player from all fronts.” That is what Mike Sullivan had to say about the games best player and the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins the morning after a 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals. When the game was tied at one, Sidney Crosby elevated his game yet again and made two incredible plays that are just examples of what he is, which is everything Alexander Ovechkin is not.
Sid’s play willed the Pens to a 3-1 lead by the end of the second period. That was after the Pens were absolutely owned in the first. The shots on goal were not close, and the play was less close. Marc-Andre Fleury absolutely was the difference in the game early on last night. Then the second period happened.
The Pens were on the penalty kill When Matt Cullen took advantage of a loose puck around the blue line that he turned into a beautiful breakaway. He would poke it through Holtby to give the Pens a 1-0 lead. Washington would respond before that power play would end though to tie the game.
The Capitals would continue to push but you could see that the Pens were in their heads at that point. After just destroying Pittsburgh in that first period out shooting the Pens 16-5, and then give up a short-handed goal, the push was not nearly as strong from that point. Then with less than 10 minutes left in the second period, the Pens had flipped the script on the Capitals.
Phil Kessel would take a feed from Sid and bury one on the short side of Holtby to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. A few minutes later, it would be Jake Guentzel that would do the same thing. Holtby should have stopped the Guentzel goal during the second period. Not coincidentally that ended up being that last period he would play.
Barry Trots, the coach of the Capitals would replace him. But the Pens would soil the replacement just as many times. After the Pens had to fight off 4 power plays early on, they would get one of their own in the third that they would take advantage of. Phil Kessel would score his second of the game to extend the Pens lead to 4-1.
After the Capitals would cut the lead to 4-2, Evgeni Malkin would get a tip in that was initially not called a goal, but would be awarded to him upon further review. Then they would add another in the final minute of the third from Jake Guentzel. It was his second of the game.
Regardless of the two goals a piece from Kessel and Guentzel, it was Sidney Crosby that was the reason the Pens scored that second goal which put them up. It was also Sid that would block a puck with his chest, then flip it to Guentzel which sprung him loose for the Pens 3rd goal. That is when the game changed and was put firmly in the Pens pocket and embedded in the Capitals heads.
The Caps have been owned by the Pens in post season play for years, and if looks as if the weight of that is really showing through right now.
Though it certainly was not all roses last night as the Pens lost Hornqvist during the second period after blocking a shot off the top of his ankle or shin. There are no updates as of right now on his condition. Here is some audio from the post game pressers.