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Stanley Cup Final

In return, Sid will make rare appearance on PP point

Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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In return, Sid will make rare appearance on PP point
Sidney Crosby will play the point tonight should the Penguins get a power play, something he hasn't done since his QMJHL days.
NEW YORK -- Sidney Crosby hasn't played the point on the power play since he was with Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. That will change Thursday night against the New York Rangers, provided the Pittsburgh Penguins get a power-play opportunity at Madison Square Garden.
 
Crosby has been working on the strong-side point of the Penguins first power-play unit for the past few practices. He is playing opposite Kris Letang with Evgeni Malkin on the strong-side wall, James Neal down low, and Steve Sullivan on the weak-side wall.
 

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"I played point in juniors so the comfort level is there," Crosby said. "As far as seeing the things you want to see and getting little habits that you get used to (when you're) playing a certain spot, that's going to take time. But, I have a comfort level there."
 
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said his reasoning for moving Crosby to the point is so he is more involved in the power play. Crosby had been used as the low man on the power play in the limited time he has played during the past 14 months.
 
"The power play goes through the half wall for the most part and the strong-side point guy. That's Sid Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for our team right now," Bylsma said. "At times we've seen Geno as the off-side point man. He didn't really touch the puck and wasn't a real focus on the power play. With Sidney Crosby down low, he's very good in that spot, but the power play doesn't go through that spot. It ends up there with a shot. James Neal is there right now and his power-play goals (14) speak for themselves in that situation.
 
"This allows the puck to go through Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby."
 
The Penguins power play is ranked No. 5 in the League at 19.7 percent.
 
"I feel like I can make plays there (the point)," Crosby said, "and with the guys we have out there we should be dangerous."
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3