The Pittsburgh Penguins faced off against the red-hot St. Louis Blues in a midday game today.
What was sure to be a great contest against this strong team turned out to be an example of the ferocity of these Penguins players.
The first period went by without a goal from either team. The Blues led the shooting 10-7 but were denied by some goaltender Matt Murray. This was a recurring theme throughout the game.
While the first period was an admittedly boring 20 minutes of hockey, the second was quite different. The Blues score first three minutes into the period but that lead didn’t last long.
Sidney Crosby got the 400th goal of his NHL career, after sneaking the puck past Blues goaltender Jake Allen.
Crosby is the 95th player in NHL history to reach the milestone and the 37th to do so in 839 games or fewer, according to NHL.com.
“I still don’t know how it trickled in, it seemed like it took forever,” Crosby said. “You’re trying to put it in that area, short side. Somehow it kind of found its way in.”
Head Coach Mike Sullivan called it a “typical Crosby goal.”
“He scores more goals from below the goal line than anybody I’ve ever seen and he’s one of the few guys that thinks the game at such a high level,” Sullivan said.
The score was tied after the second and it was off to the races for the Penguins in the third period after a goal that was called back by the Blues. Paul Stasny deflected a puck behind Matt Murray but his stick was above the crossbar, so the call of goal was reversed. This was a big turning point in the game.
The reversed goal set a fire under the Penguins. Not long after, Bryan Rust scores on a breakaway to make the score 2-1 just a minute into the third.
Murray made some great saves during a couple of Blues power plays to keep the lead.
Dominik Simon stole the puck away from Blues player Alex Pietrangelo and got the puck to Riley Sheahan in the front of the net. The Penguins took a 3-1 lead after that.
With under three minutes left, the Blues pull their goalie and Crosby wins a faceoff to score goal 401 to put the nail in the coffin with the final score being 4-1 in favor of the Penguins.
In a game that could’ve gone either way, the Penguins again showed their resilience in the face of good opponents. After Friday’s shootout loss to Dallas, it was a good way to get back in the groove for Pittsburgh.
Now their schedule allows them more home games and no more long road trips to the western conference the remainder of the season, giving this Penguins team a good chance of winning a good deal of their remaining contests.
They play against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.