Kris Letang’s power-play strike, assisted by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, earned the Penguins a point on Wednesday in the final five minutes of regulation at KeyBank Center— and also marked the 50th time the Penguins’ Big Three factored into the same goal.
The trio’s first combined goal came on December 3, 2007, against Ilya Bryzgalov and the Phoenix Coyotes. (Fun fact: three days later, Letang scored the first shootout goal of his NHL career.)
From the December 4 AP game recap:
Apparently, the young talent isn’t done arriving.
The recap went on to detail the goal:
After Phoenix was called for too many men on the ice, Malkin fed the puck from behind the net to Crosby in the right circle. Crosby faked a shot before throwing a pass across the slot to Letang, whose one-timer beat goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
That would be the first of fifty from this trio. Let’s break it down (numbers courtesy of Stathead Hockey):
- Of the 50 goals, Letang scored six (including both the first and the 50th), Crosby 19, and Malkin 25.
- In those 50 games, the Penguins boast a 40-7-3 record.
- 34 of the goals took place at home (five at Mellon Arena, 16 at CONSOL Energy Center and 13 at PPG Paints Arena.)
- The trio has combined on 11 goals at even strength, and 39 on the power play.
- The Penguins’ Big Three shared points on four overtime goals. Malkin scored against the visiting Panthers on November 24, 2014 and the host Bruins on October 20, 2015, while Crosby ended games against the host Canadiens on January 10, 2015 and the visiting Jets on February 16, 2017.
- Letang, Malkin and Crosby combined to score most against the Maple Leafs (seven times), the Islanders (six times) and the Flyers (five times).
- Craig Anderson, the goaltender Letang beat on Wednesday, is one of the trio’s most scored-against netminders: Malkin, Crosby and Letang had already combined for two goals against Anderson while he was an Ottawa Senator. (They’ve also scored three times against the Maple Leafs’ Jonathan Bernier.)
In conclusion: The Penguins might have found something special with these three kids.