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Penguins/Oilers Recap: Sidney Crosby’s sensational OT goal asserts his continued dominance in 6-5 win.

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Crosby scored twice, including in overtime to down Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Lineups

The Penguins roll out as expected for this one.

1st period

Connor McDavid flashes with a couple of really nice rushes. It’s unreal how fast he is with the puck on his stick. Bryan Rust is forced to take a delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass 47 seconds into the game, so McDavid stays on the ice and starts the game with a casual and Kovalev-esque 1:58 shift.

But it’s the Pens power play that draws first blood. Edmonton’s Ryan Strome takes a really unnecessary interference penalty by trifling with Evgeni Malkin and Pittsburgh strikes. Some excellent puck movement with Phil Kessel finding Kris Letang in the top of the circles with room. Letang, ever with the head up, sends a shot-pass that Sidney Crosby coolly redirects into the net past Cam Talbot to make it 1-0 Pens.

Jamie Oleksiak and Zack Kassian fight in a mostly, nothing type of affair.

The Oilers take another penalty later in the period — two Pittsburgh power plays in a single period, now there’s a 2018-19 rarity! A couple of great scoring chances for Crosby and Malkin but they don’t score on this one.

Shots end up 11 a piece in the first 20 minutes.

2nd period

Period starts and Edmonton scores quickly. Jack Johnson can’t track back on the puck effectively enough and Leon Draisaitl uses the traffic as a screen to snap a really nice shot past Matt Murray. 1-1.

Edmonton takes the lead with another goal. Daniel Sprong gets shrugged off easily trying to play defense, Johnson is flailing trying (and failing) to block shots. Yikes. 2-1 Oil.

The Oilers continue to play well and the Penguins are just...Looking like they flipped the switch back to “off” in the first intermission. Shots are 12-0 Edmonton.

Well, Oleksiak makes it 12-1 and makes it count to, going to the net and scoring a nice goal like an old pro. 2-2.

Patric Hornqvist gets in the act with his first goal of the season, coming off a really nifty Dominik Simon backhand pass from below the goal-line. 3-2 Pittsburgh retakes the lead.

Then somehow the Pens give up a 2-on-0 rush off a neutral zone faceoff. Olli Maatta has to defend in space, which doesn’t go well (as you might expect) and Jack Johnson is...well I can’t really analyze what he’s doing here. Poor Matt Murray. 3-3.

Last minute in the period, the puck bouncing around and contacts Hornqvist’s skate and goes in the net. Official review for the famous “distinct kicking motion” or not. After a short review they let it stand. 4-3 Pens going into the 3rd..

Shots end up 17-8 in the 2nd period, not great at all for Pittsburgh. Probably lucky to have gotten a couple bounces and retain the lead.

3rd period

Pittsburgh goes to the penalty box early when Carl Hagelin trips up Milan Lucic, a double-dagger since Hagelin is one of the team’s top PK forwards. And it bites them with McDavid finding some space and wristing a shot past Murray. 4-4.

Soon after Maatta takes a penalty of his own to test the PK again, and it fails again. After Hagelin and Brian Dumoulin have a 2-on-1 the other way that gets shut down, the puck goes back the other way and McDavid finds Draisaitl to make it 5-4.

But the Pens aren’t done yet. It’s Oleksiak again getting a goal, his second of the night to make it 5-5. Why not!

The Pens take like their millionth penalty in a row (approximate, it’s late) with Oleksiak going to the sin bin. But then Kailer Yamamoto makes a rookie mistake and hooks Letang to make it a 4v4 situation. It cycles through to a quick Pittsburgh power play but they do nothing with it.

McDavid puts on the jets to zoom past Dumoulin and get a breakaway, moves to his backhand but Murray stays with him and makes a potential game-saving, um, save with 6 minutes left.

Malkin gets kicked out of a faceoff, and Hagelin does like very little and Draisaitl points at him and the refs buy it and call a delay of game bench minor for getting kicked out of the faceoffs twice. The Pens luckily are able to kill that one off.

Overtime

Crosby wins the faceoff from McDavid and away we go on an exciting 3v3 session.

Sid’s 2nd shift, any questions on who the ultimate alpha in the NHL is? Works over Strome, goes backhand and Talbot doesn’t have a chance. 6-5 winner.

Some Thoughts

  • It took until October 23rd for the first fight of the season. Not even in preseason! That’s gotta be a record. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) that might be a record challenged as soon as next season as the game evolves away from it.
  • Did the Pens think first goal wins? They totally fell asleep after the first period. Luckily they were able to flip the switch back on with two second period goals.
  • After the Oilers put Daniel Sprong on his wallet in the lead up to the second goal early in the 2nd period he didn’t take another shift in the period. They haven’t played him much but they’ve played him every game. At this rate though, has to be asked if he’s playing himself to the press box, just isn’t working out in a 4th line role, and hasn’t really played well enough for a bigger role.
  • But then again, Simon didn’t play much either and he was playing well. Serious, watch his pass for Hornqvist’s first goal, watch that again. Seriously. That was a very nice little play there to read and generate a quality chance.
  • I’m sure enough people are beating Jack Johnson up around the internet, so I’ll just move on from that without comment. Rough go in the 2nd period there to say the least.
  • Nice night of firsts on the season: Crosby and Hornqvist for goals, Matt Cullen picked up an assist on Hornqvist’s second goal.
  • Maybe you’d like Murray to make a stop on McDavid on the 4th goal, but even then the best offensive player of the past few years had all the time and space in the world to pick his spot and shoot. Tough to stop that circumstance, but I can see how you want the goalie to be big there. The other goals against the goalie had little to no chance on. And stopping McDavid on the breakaway with 6 minutes left about atones for that in my book.
  • Crosby started the scoring, ended the scoring and won 16 of his 20 faceoffs. McDavid is a terrific player. He’s younger and more explosive. But Crosby scored the winner. Any questions?