Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins had every excuse to play a sluggish game Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild.
It was the second of back-to-back games for the Penguins, and Wednesday’s shootout win over the Rangers in New York was especially taxing. Beyond that, the Pens dressed seven AHL call-ups for the second straight night, while the mostly healthy Wild arrived in Pittsburgh the previous evening.
However, it was Minnesota that looked like the tired team, as the Penguins scored in the first minute and made it 3-0 by the 3:33 mark of the second period. With the score the same just past the halfway point of the game, Crosby earned his second assist of the game in spectacular fashion.
The goal against helpless Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom was Kunitz’ 19th of the season, tying him with Crosby for the team lead. Crosby earned his league-leading 51st point of the season on the play, which ranks up there with the most mind-boggling moves of his NHL career.
Pittsburgh led 4-1 after two periods, well on its way to a sixth straight win and its 11th in the past 12 games.
GIF courtesy of The Pensblog