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Scrimmage Recap: Crosby vs. Malkin

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins concluded their second intra-squad scrimmage of training camp on Friday morning at CONSOL Energy Center. This matchup featured Sidney Crosby vs. Evgeni Malkin.

Malkin won the opening faceoff against his captain, but from there it was all Team Crosby.

Kris Letang scored two goals while Crosby and Dupuis added one each for a 4-1 victory.

Jean-Sebastien Dea, here on an amateur tryout after being invited to both prospect development camp and the rookie tournament, scored the lone goal for Team Malkin.

Malke takes the opening scrimmage faceoff against Crosby

The trio of Chris Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis was on fire. They contributed two of the four goals, and look like they’re in midseason form. The unspoken chemistry was evident on a few plays, including Dupuis’ cross-crease pass to set up Crosby for a one-timer score.

“I knew where he was going to be and heard him ‘Yay! Yay! Yay!’ I heard him back there,” Dupuis said. “We seem to be in good shape. We’ve been playing with each other for a while now so we know where each other will be on the ice. It’s a good sign for the start of the season.”

“It’s less thinking. The last thing you want to do out there is think too much,” Crosby said. “If you’re reacting and just playing hockey it makes things a lot easier. When you’re familiar with your wingers and linemates it’s natural to just go out there and play. You trust where everyone is going to be.”

There was a scary play though when Crosby nearly got lit up. He was skating with his head down across the blue line. Defenseman Simon Despres had him lined up, but didn’t unload fully on him.

“They had guys changing and I thought they were all gone,” Crosby said. “(Despres) stayed out. I was looking at the puck. I’ll have to discuss that with ‘Tanger’ and make sure he doesn’t give me that one (laughs).”

“I knew he was coming up the ice, I just let up a bit,” Despres said. “He’s our franchise player. You want to be careful. When you’re a D-man out there you’re always aware who you’re up against. It’s easy to see who’s up there. He’s one of the best players in the world.”

Though the play was scary, at the end of the day it was a hockey play, and coach Dan Bylsma said Despres played it perfectly.

"It was a clean hit. Simon (made) the right read and the right play and liked every part of it," Bylsma said.

Below are some live tweets of the scrimmage...

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