Sidney Crosby Scores Two, Fleury Shuts the Door as Pens Top Flames 4-0


The Pittsburgh Penguins have been waiting a fair while for Sidney Crosby to recover his previous dominance, as the Pens captain has not seemed quite like himself thus far this season.

Fans need not wait any longer as the Crosby of old came out in full swing tonight, scoring two absolutely beautiful goals and setting up another en route to a superb 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames.

The first period saw both teams trade chances, though the Pens broke the deadlock when Flames defenceman Mark Giordano fired an errant pass that ended up on the stick of Crosby. The captain dished to David Perron, who quickly wired it past netminder Jonas Hiller for his 13th of the season.

Near the end of the first, the Pens struck again off a perfectly executed set faceoff play.

Brandon Sutter won the draw and got the puck back to Rob Scuderi, who swept it to Simon Despres. The young defender fired it towards the Flames net as Sutter made his way back to the Flames net, just in time to tip the puck off his backhand into the top of the cage.

While the first stanza saw some evenly matched play, the second period was all Pittsburgh.

The Pens dominated the neutral zone and shut down Calgary’s transition game while posting chance after chance.

Midway through the period, Crosby and linemate Chris Kunitz tallied a spectacular goal, as the veteran winger rushed down the left wing and dished the puck across the zone to a streaking Crosby, who put the puck in with a one-handed backhand sweep.

Defenseman Kris Letang had a scary moment in the second period when an errant puck struck him in the jaw, sending him to the locker room. He was able to return to the game for the final period.

The third stanza saw Crosby net one more when then captain broke in alone – again fed by linemate Kunitz – to wire a quick wrister into the twine.

Crosby’s breakaway goal was his 17th tally of the season.

Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury had an outstanding night as well, turning aside Calgary’s 21 shots to record his league-leading 8th shutout of the season.

The 8 shutouts also broke the Penguins’ franchise record for most in a single season.

It was an all-around solid performance for Pittsburgh, who finally seems to be rounding into shape as they get more healthy bodies back on the ice.

Evgeni Malkin played his second game since returning from injury, skating on the second line with Patric Hornqvist and Mark Arcobello.

The line seemed to struggle throughout the game – combining for only four shots, none of which found the back of the net – and not appearing to be on the same page for much of the game.

Malkin and Arcobello, specifically, did not find much chemistry tonight – making very clear the need for either Beau Bennett or Blake Comeau to make their return to the second line.

Bennett is reportedly going to be back in the lineup tomorrow night against Vancouver, which could signal his return to the Pens’ top-six.

The Penguins’ road-trip is off to an excellent start as they’ve posted two straight shutouts. They’ll get a tougher test tomorrow night when they’ll look to continue their winning ways in Vancouver.