Remember back in October and November when many, many NHL observers wondered what was wrong with Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby? It goes without saying Crosby has since silenced his critics.
Crosby scored two beautiful goals on Thursday, his 30th and 31st of the season, to extended his point streak to 10 games. He has 16 points in the 10 games to climb back into the Top 5 in the NHL scoring race. It's also the second time this season he has had a double-digit point streak. He had 22 points in an 11-game point streak from January 12 to February 8.
Crosby's first goal came with the Penguins trailing the Hurricanes 2-0 late in the first. It was a great solo rush from his own end, and better finish on his backhand.
The second goal might have been even better. With the game tied, Crosby took a terrific pass from the point from Ian Cole and skillfully re-directed it past Eddie Lack, for what turned out to be the game winner.
It was the Penguins fourth consecutive win, three of which have come since Evgeni Malkin went down with an upper body injury. He is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. The win allowed the Penguins to pad their lead in the Eastern Conference wild-card race, as well.
As for Crosby, he reached the 30-goal plateau for the seventh time in his career. That ranks third all-time among Penguins, behind Mario Lemieux's 11, and Jaromir Jagr's 10.