The Ottawa Senators got two much-needed points last night in an 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins to keep their playoffs hopes alive for the time being. However, the highlight of the night may have come from Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who continues to show why he is the best in the game when he’s healthy.
Coming up the right wing, Crosby, who played just over 17 minutes in the game, performed a spin-o-rama around Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and then dished the puck from his backhand across the ice to a streaking Matt Cooke, who buried the puck in the net. Crosby ended the night with a goal and an assist.
Cooke’s goal off Crosby’s pass put the Penguins up 2-1 after the first. For the next two periods, however, it was all Senators.The team scored three unanswered goals in the second before Pittsburgh finally rallied back to put one in. The Senators chipped in one more to finish the second period on top 5-2. While Pittsburgh opened the scoring in the third, Ottawa rounded out the game with another three unanswered goals. Daniel Alfredsson finished the game with two goals and two assists. Turris, Michalek, Greening, Spezza, Gonchar and Foligno also had multi-point games.
The loss last night was just Pittsburgh’s fourth loss in their last 20 games. The Pens have clinched a playoff spot but they still trail the division-and-conference-leading New York Rangers by three points for first overall in the East. With two points last night, Crosby now has 23 points in only 14 games this season and leads the league with an average of 1.64 points per game. Evgeni Malkin, the league leader in points with 95, went scoreless on the night against the Senators and posted a minus-4 in just over 20 minutes of ice time.
The Senators, meanwhile, are clinging to the 7th seed on the East with 86 points. The Buffalo Sabres hold the 8th seed with 84 points, but the Washington Capitals are hot on their tail with 82 points. While a lot can happen in the remaining two weeks of the regular season, the 7th and 8th seeds will likely be occupied by two of these three teams. The Senators are 4-4-2 over their last 10 while the Sabres have been red hot, posting a 7-1-2 record over their last 10 – and are winners of four in a row. The Senators visit the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow night before enjoying several days off before visiting the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Ottawa will finish their road trip against the New York Islanders on Sunday before hosting Carolina and Boston next week. Ottawa will finish their season on the road against the New Jersey Devils on April 7.
Check out the video of Crosby’s amazing spin-o-rama pass below: