Penguins legend/owner/Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux was well known for his ability to score goals from along or below the goal line, either with a deadly accurate shot or a purposeful bank off of the goaltender.
Sidney Crosby is stealing a page out of Lemieux's playbook.
Crosby scored his second bank shot goal of the season when he knocked an airborne puck off the back of Dallas netminder Antti Niemi and into the net for the game-winning goal in Pittsburgh's 6-2 victory against the Stars at PPG Paints Arena Thursday night.
"Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't," Crosby said. "That was a good one to get.
"You're just trying to get the puck between him and the net and hope for a good bounce. I got one there."
Crosby collected the puck below the goal line and threw it toward the net. Niemi made the save, but the puck popped into the air. Crosby took a second whack with Niemi leaning off of the post and the puck found its way through.
Video: DAL@PIT: Crosby bats puck out of midair into the net
"There are only a few players in the league who can bank those in. It's always the same guys," forward Patric Hornqvist said. "He tried it the first time, it went up in the air and he tried a second one. If you have that skill, you might as well do it."
The other time this season that Crosby, who has 16 goals in 18 games, banked a puck in off of a goaltender was San Jose's Martin Jones.
Crosby was asked about mimicking his former landlord Lemieux by trying to score from behind the net.
"There's not much room (behind the net) anymore," Crosby said. "You just have to look for every bit of daylight you can find."
Crosby also picked up two assists in the game for a three-point night. Crosby now has 25 points (16G-9A) in 18 contests.
"He was pretty average tonight again," Hornqvist joked, before adding: "This is the best I've ever seen him play."
Head coach Mike Sullivan summed it up best.
"I've seen 'Sid' score a number of goals like that. There aren't too many players in the league that would think to make that type of a play," Sullivan said. "I've seen him score a number of goals where it may look to the casual fan as a fluke goal or happenstance goal, but to me it is a really skilled play, and really heads up play by a guy that thinks the game differently than most."