The corollary to not overreacting when Sidney Crosby goes eight games without scoring a goal is also not overreacting when he finally finds the net. After giving back a 2-0 lead before the first period was out, and after failing to crack the Lightning’s backup goalie, and facing the prospect of heading to Tampa down two games, the Penguins desperately needed a goal from anyone.
A Brian Dumoulin pass to Bryan Rust took Anton Stralman out of the picture, and the Pens had a 3-on-1.
Only Rust didn’t realize it—Matt Cullen fell, and Crosby was out of his line of sight. “I just tried to let him know I was there,” Crosby said.
“I didn’t know exactly what he was going to do.” Let’s avoid the temptation to make any big proclamations about this—one goal on a fairly open look does not a slump break.
But Vasilevskiy got a glove on a Crosby backhand to keep things tied.
Oh yeah, that’s why they pay Roenick the big bucks.
It was some unintentional line-mixing that sealed things for Pittsburgh.At the end of the very first shift of overtime, Crosby’s linemates had changed but he found himself still on the ice.And as the zeroes piled up, Crosby’s goal drought—dating back to Game 4 of the Pens’ first-round series against the Rangers—started to stick out.Fair or not, that’s the way of things: When you’re rolling through the Presidents’ Trophy winners and getting goals from your depth players, no one minds too much if your top player isn’t scoring.But when you start to lose games and face a series hole, it becomes a thing.Penguins coach Mike Sullivan tried to get his scorers going, shuffling wingers on his top lines and even at one pointing putting Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (now with zero points in six games) together for a couple of shifts in the second period, and it almost worked, too.