The hockey gods giveth, and Sidney Crosby
Crosby came close to his yearlong quest to score 50 goals on the season in the Penguins’ 7-3 triumph over the New York Islanders. Oh, so close.
It appeared that Crosby achieved his task when his slap shot from above the far circle powered through goaltender Dwayne Roloson and into the net in the second period while the Penguins were working on a power play.
The standing room only sellout crowd of 17,132 roared as the puck sailed passed veteran winger Bill Guerin, who was positioned in front of the goalie, and punched the twine. However, despite the exuberance of the fans, Crosby knew immediately that he did not score on the play.
“I thought right away when I shot it that it hit Billy’s leg or pants or something,” Crosby said after the game. “I asked him right after and he said it went off his pants.”
Right after the puck went into the goal, Crosby excitedly pointed toward Guerin. Crosby even shook his head “no” on the bench as the Mellon Arena PA announced the goal in his favor.
“That is something that if it hits off him, you don’t want it,” Crosby said. “It’s not your goal. It would have been great to get it here but at the end of the day goals go to guys who deserve them. And he deserved that one.”
"Sidney indicated that the goal that would have been his 50th went off of Billy Guerin and into the net," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "The goal is officially Billy’s and not Sid’s 50th."
The off-ice officials reviewed the play, and correctly awarded the goal to Guerin.
Even though he didn’t reach 50 on this evening, a night that saw the last regular-season game ever played at Mellon Arena, Crosby did score his 49th goal to take a temporary lead in the Rocket Richard Trophy race, which is awarded to the NHL player who finishes with the most goals on the season.
With two games to play, Crosby holds a one-goal lead over Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, both currently sit at 48.
With the goal-scoring race so tight, Crosby was asked if Guerin offered to allow him to keep the goal, an idea the Penguins captain quickly rejected.
“We didn’t really talk about that,” he said. “I think he would know my answer to that anyway. There is no way that I would ever want a goal that isn’t mine, especially with the way things are now, that is the last thing I would want. It was Billy’s goal.”
Watch the goal below: