The Pittsburgh Penguins led the NHL in wins (12) and goals (57) in March, and Sidney Crosby
paced the league with 21 points (7G-14A), earning the Penguins captain the NHL’s ‘First Star’ for the month.
Crosby, whose second-half scoring spree has jumped him into third place in the NHL scoring race with 80 points, and right into the middle of the MVP discussion, tallied at least one point in 15 of Pittsburgh’s 16 games in March, including six multi-point efforts.
Most impressively, Crosby had 13 points (4G-9A) and two game-winning goals in the final 10 games of the month – all of which the Penguins played without the services of Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh won nine of the 10 games.
At the outset of the month, Crosby ran off a season-long 12-game point streak from Feb. 29-March 20 where he had six goals and 20 points. Crosby is the only NHL player this year to reel off multiple point streaks of 10 or more games.
This is the second time in two weeks that the NHL has honored Crosby. He was NHL ‘First Star’ for the week ending March 20 after leading all players in scoring that week.
Since Mike Sullivan took over behind the Pittsburgh bench on Dec. 12, Crosby leads the NHL with 61 points (26G-35A) in just 48 games. Projected over an 82-game season, those totals average out to 44 goals, 60 assists and 104 points.
Heading into the Penguins’ final set of back-to-back games this weekend, Crosby sits one assist shy of becoming just the eighth active player to reach 600 for his career.
The Penguins’ 12 wins in March are the second-highest single-month total in franchise history behind the 15 wins Pittsburgh had in March 2013.
Pittsburgh currently has a magic number of two as it looks to clinch the team’s 10th-consecutive postseason berth. The Penguins can clinch if the Detroit Red Wings lose to the Minnesota Wild OR if the Boston Bruins lose to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. If Detroit and Boston both win Friday, Pittsburgh can clinch with a victory on Saturday afternoon against the New York Islanders in Brooklyn.
The Penguins and Islanders meet for the fourth and final time during the regular season on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Barclays Center. The game will be televised on ROOT SPORTS and it can be heard on the team’s official flagship station, 105.9 The X.