Sidney Crosby takes the early lead in the NHL's point race as his three assists help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Edmonton Oilers last night 3-2. Five former first overall picks were featured in this game and it showed. The game was faster than a chicken running back to the coup after seeing a hawk in air. Twice as exciting, too. But it took a second overall's one-timer to get the victory for the Pens.
Evgeni Malkin netted the game winning goal on the powerplay after Paul Martin failed on a one-timer. The puck limped to Geno who slapped it pass Jason LaBarbera, who was ready for Martin's shot and not Malkin's.
Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said, "To have done the job so far and everything's going all right for us and it's a fanned shot and it goes right to the most dangerous guy on the ice, the hockey gods aren't lined up for us right now. We'll do an exorcism and see if they give us more leeway."
Sidney Crosby had a less theological answer, saying, "Our guys capitalized on some chances and found ways to put it in the back of the net. We generated some good chances tonight and it was nice to get it going."
Crosby's three assists give him twelve points on the year. He's two ahead of reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Martin St. Louis and his seven assists are one off of Joe Thornton and Henrik Sedin's league leading eight. The night wasn't all roses for The Kid, though. Crosby took a Andrew Ference stick to mouth, which bloodied his lip and spiked fans' heart-rates. But toughness is one of his attributes and he didn't miss any ice time. Phew.
Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz each had strong games, both scored a goal and added a helper. In all, the first line was buzzing and that's trouble for the rest of league. Fleury also looked sharp in net, notching twenty saves and holding the young firing squad Oilers at bay. The team improves to 5-1 on the season.
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