PHILADELPHIA – At this point, it is almost comical the way Philadelphia fans treat Sidney Crosby
when he visits the City of Brotherly Love. Once again on Saturday night the Flyers faithful sent their usual catcalls Crosby’s way.
Like he always does, Crosby silenced the ‘Orange Crush’ crowd by delivering another vintage performance with two third-period power-play goals and an assist to lead the Penguins to a 5-1 victory at Wells Fargo Center.
“This is a tough rink to play in, but we usually play some good games here,” Crosby said. “There’s a comfort level because we have played here a lot – not just in the regular season but the playoffs as well. For some of us, we have seen this building at its toughest. … That always makes for good games.”
Crosby’s scoring binge – his first multiple-goal and point efforts of the 2010-11 season – not only provided Pittsburgh with the necessary insurance it needed to protect a 2-1 lead entering the third period, it also allowed the Penguins’ top power-play unit to come up huge late in a game when the outcome was still in doubt for the second straight night.
“We always talk about timing,” Crosby said. “Obviously that is a big part of it. We can still improve. We are not always going to get those chances. When we do, we have to make the most of them like we did. … We did some good things and had some good chances.”
At the rate the Penguins were heading on the man-advantage, it figured to be only a matter of time before they cashed in on all of the golden opportunities the Flyers presented to them.RELATED ARTICLE: Aftermath: Penguins 5, Flyers 1
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Philadelphia was whistled for eight penalties, including two five-on-three chances for Pittsburgh and a double minor for high sticking by Jeff Carter which led to Crosby sealing the victory.
Crosby picked up his first goal of the evening 3:13 into the third period when Claude Giroux’s tripping penalty gave the Penguins a two-man advantage.
Standing in the near faceoff circle, Crosby one-timed a cross-ice pass from Evgeni Malkin
along the ice and just under the left leg of Flyers rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for his second goal of the season to make the score 3-1 in favor of Pittsburgh.
Just 1:24 later, Crosby eliminated any doubt in the outcome of this game.
Standing at the center point, Crosby took a Kris Letang
setup and ripped a slap shot off the skate of a Flyers defenseman and through a Chris Kunitz
screen behind Bobrovsky to give the Penguins a 4-1 lead.
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said that Saturday night’s performance was easily the best game of Crosby’s season.
“Absolutely. The way he skated and played, he probably could have gotten a couple more,” Bylsma said.
Crosby felt that Saturday’s scoring outburst was his reward for all of the scoring chances he has generated through the early portion of the season that haven’t found their way into the back of the net.
“I feel like besides the (Islanders) game, I have been generating some good chances,” Crosby said. “All you can do is hope they go in. if you keep doing the right things, then things will go your way.”