Watch out, New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby just remembered how to score in the playoffs. And if Carl Hagelin’s bump to the jaw didn’t erase Crosby’s memory, he might just make a series of this Rangers-Penguins match up.
It only took Sidney Crosby four minutes and 39 seconds to double his playoff goal total from last season.
Crosby scored twice in the the second period and Brandon Sutter came up huge on the penalty kill and power play to help the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 4-3 in Game 2 Saturday.
Crosby’s first goal started with linemate Patric Hornqvist splitting the Rangers defence and putting the puck on net. Lundqvist made the initial point-blank stop, but Hornqvist managed to hook the rebound over to a trailing Crosby, who fired it into the open cage.
Crosby’s second goal was a diving pass deflection from Chris Kunitz. Kunitz had recovered the puck after a failed attempt to clear it from Kevin Hayes, and drew the Rangers defenders to him before finding Crosby streaking to the net.
Some of the wind came out of Crosby’s sails in the third, after Carl Hagelin clipped him from his blind side and appeared to hit him in the jaw. Crosby went down immediately with the hit and was in obvious pain as he left the ice. He missed several shifts and looked shaken up on the bench, but eventually returned to close out the game. Breathe easy, Penguins supporters. It didn’t look like a concussion. He’s OK.
Several Penguins players were more than just OK in the win. Third-line center Brandon Sutter was downright phenomenal, killing penalties, scoring on the power play and setting up what would be the game-winner for Chris Kunitz in the third.
Sutter was a special teams machine, logging 3:26 on the power play and 4:13 on the penalty kill in a game in which he played a total of 15:33. He nearly scored on a shorthanded breakaway in the second, then fired home a Steve Downie pass in the slot on the power play to open the scoring for the Penguins.
Sutter was also instrumental in Kunitz getting his goal to make it 4-2. Sutter fought off Derick Brassard on a wraparound attempt on the power play, and Kunitz was the man to come in and finish it off on the rebound.
The goal was Kunitz’s third point on the night, after he picked up assists on Crosby’s second goal and Sutter’s first. He also led the team in hits with five.
The Rangers managed just one goal on seven power play opportunities in the game.