Sidney Crosby Best Player In First Playoffs Semifinal Game With Fantastic Plays And By Encouraging Penguins Never Quit Attitude Erases Rangers’ Commanding 3-0 Lead Resulting In 5-4 Victory For Pittsburgh
Friday April 25, 2008
Sidney Crosby was the best player during game 1 in round 2 of The Eastern Conference Stanley Cup playoffs semifinal against The New York Rangers. In fact, Sidney Crosby was named the first star of the game.
The determination in Crosby’s will and his never quit attitude, even when it looks like there is no hope, is one of his finest assets as team captain. It is Sidney Crosby’s determination and attitude that his teammates feed upon driving them to miraculous comebacks like tonight’s 5-4 victory over The New York Rangers.
Of course Sidney Crosby’s skillful ability to create scoring chances and the talent he is surrounded by are only amplified by this determined never quit mindset. How else could The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a comeback against the highly talented defensive play of The New York Rangers and the incredible Henrik Lundqvist in goal in the first game of this round 2 playoff series?
With less than two minutes left in a 4-4 tie game Sidney Crosby fired off a shot from the right point that was deflected past Lundqvist by Evgeni Malkin for the game winning goal. Getting to this victorious moment wasn’t easy. Early in the second period The Penguins were down by three goals and the fans at Mellon Arena were shocked into silence. With The Rangers outstanding defense and experienced veteran players it seemed as if game 1 was a write off for The Penguins.
Then The Penguins determination paid off with a major turing point in the game. Just over eight minutes into the second period Jarkko Ruutu assisted by Jordan Staal and Brooks Orpik, scored a goal. Fourteen seconds later Pasqual Dupuis got his first goal for the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs, assisted by none other than Sidney Crosby. On this play Crosby battled for the puck behind the net backhanding it to Dupuis he buried the puck shaving New York’s lead down to one goal.
During the first five minutes of the third period Pittsburgh was able to quickly tie, then take their first lead of the game, on back to back goals twenty seconds apart by Marian Hossa and Petr Sykora. At the midway point of the period The Rangers’ Scott Gomez put a puck past Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game and put fans at Mellon Arena on the edge of their seats.
With only three minutes left it seemed the game was heading for overtime but Pittsburgh was given an edge with the power play. New York’s Martin Straka was called for interference when he collided with Sidney Crosby rushing down the ice with Marian Hossa. Straka was also given a game misconduct for his comments on the call. Of course The Rangers have been hyping Crosby as a “whiner and diver” for the last few days so it was no surprise Jagr and Shanahan are both saying he took a dive on the Straka interference call.
Interestingly, Tony Ferrante on The Confluence of Three Rivers, sparked a huge debate by suggesting Brendan Shanahan is a hypocrite because “Shanahan is one of the biggest whiners in the history of the NHL, and that’s no stretch. Brendan Shanahan is the Grand Frickin’ Poobah of whiners !!!!”
Without getting into debates about who is the biggest whiner or diver, the fact stands that Straka was called for interference with only three minutes left in the game. About a minute and a half later Evgeni Malkin’s shin pad deflected Sidney Crosby’s slapshot from the point into the net for the game winner on the power play. Final score Pittsburgh 5 – New York 4 and The Penguins lead the best of seven round 2 playoffs series 1-0.
This was the first time this season, and first time in a playoffs game
since 1992 (during the Stanley Cup finals against Chicago), that The
Penguins made a comeback from a three goal deficit to win a game.
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