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Penguins stun Canucks in comeback shootout win

Jan 8, 2014, 1:18 AM EDT

crosbyinvanap AP

When Sidney Crosby plays in Vancouver, memorable things tend to happen.

The Pittsburgh Penguins engaged in a wild game with the Canucks on Tuesday. Pittsburgh built a 2-0 lead, saw Vancouver storm back to take a 4-2 advantage and then Kris Letang and Crosby combined for last-minute goals to send the contest into OT at 4-4.

The game then made it to the shootout, when only one player scored … and of course, it was Crosby.

It seems unfair to boil it all down to the prolific 26-year-old (he even fought off a foot injury that may or may not be a big deal), so let’s spread the credit a bit, too. Kris Letang played like a guy who’s angry about missing out on the Olympics, finding the net while hammering six shots on goal. Zack Kassian had a goal and an assist not all that far removed from getting a skate to the skull. Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 25th win of the season while James Neal and Evgeni Malkin continue to produce when they’re in the lineup. Dan Bylsma took the Penguins’ franchise lead with 233 coaching wins.

Still, it was another special night for Crosby, who expanded his league-leading point total to an impressive 65. Here’s hoping that foot doesn’t ruin future fun, then.

  1. muckleflugga - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    ripping that eighteen incher home through that vicious and hostile body of empty air…

    all universe…

    shero bylsma and crosby

    pure genius…

    • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:51 AM

      how did you change your font color green?

    • imleftcoast - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Canucks finding a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Might look back at that lost point if they miss the playoffs. They seem to have a knack for giving up two goals in under a minute and goals in the last minute of periods and play.

    • buysamadrink - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      If that goal was scored by Claude the Fraud, all card-carrying members of the Giroux Crew would proclaim it as a play of pure genius as he would have been so smartly positioned at just the right spot. Trolls will be trolls and are jealous of Crosby.

      Holmgren, Berube, and Giroux. Enough said.

  2. blomfeld - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:01 AM


    *** special video presentation for all ‘true’ Kings and Canuck fans ***

  3. sjsharks66 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:26 AM

    How about that slew foot from Bieksa on Letang. Hope the NHL give him a call for that. He is very good at pulling cheap shots like that.

    • bencia823 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:19 AM

      Or the Sestito charging/boarding/leaping

    • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      both plays were pretty dirty. no surprise seeing that out of a John Tortorella team. he always plays on the edge. obviously the hit was bad, he came charging in and then leaves his feet and hits him pretty high.

      slew foots are very dangerous. minimal damage can be to the lower body, a pulled something.

      worse case is ending up black out and concussed on your back.

  4. bencia823 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:20 AM

    BTW, Kunitz haters probably missed the assist on that game tying goal. To knock the puck out of mid air directly to Crosby in that kind of situation takes ice in the veins.

    • c9castine - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      yeah I’ve come to the realization most people outside pittsburgh are never going to give Kunitz his due but apparently the right people in the right place are.

    • jobotjones - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Yes Crosby going skate to stick for the goal was dirty but Kunitz with the almost no look dish with the puck in mid-air is just plain filthy.

      I hope Sochi is ready because this duo is set to clown all over the international teams.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    muckleflugga you stuff makes absolutely no sense!

  6. rushledger - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    From a pens fan who’s getting good at dealing with the ups and downs of being a fan after 09 season because obviously things haven’t been as good since, it’s been a good season overall, I feel good about most of it, not all, but most.

    • brycewest - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:19 AM

      Wow…you’ve been a fan all four years? I guess that was a rough stretch, after winning the Cup. Feel free to post some advice for those of us who aren’t as “dedicated” as you obviously are. And I’m glad that the Penguins prolific season despite unprecedented injuries makes you “feel good about most of it, not all, but most.” Way to tough it out!

      • kyegrace - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Assume he was referencing the ups and downs of the Pen’s season since winning the Cup in ’09. Not the length of time he has been a fan.

        Which is fair, its tough to ride the roller coaster after the feeling of success. Once you’ve has a sniff its all you ever want. Hard to go back to watching the to be expected struggles.

        On the other hand, they have Crosby. For a long time. That seems like a reasonable medication to help with the pain.

        Canucks fans know a whole different kind of pain. For which there is likely no cure.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      As a Pens fan since 1990 (when I was 5) I don’t want to hear about your ups and downs managing – I still have a lucky Ian Moran Shirsey that I breakout on occasion!

      • florida76 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        This doesn’t get much recognition since the franchise has had the bad luck of poor ownership for much of its history, but the Pens have only had something like five losing seasons since 1987-88. Younger fans have the strong memories of the problems during the early 2000s when the current ownership had to dig itself out of the mess left by the Baldwin regime, but this is one of the more overall successful franchises in the NHL even when you account for the difficult years after expansion.

        Most other NHL franchises just don’t stack up. Teams like the Canucks, Blues, Capitals, Sabres, North Stars/Wild, haven’t even won a single Cup after all these years.

      • c9castine - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:32 AM

        been in the playoffs like what….20 out of last 25 years? 3 stanley cups and a few hundred playoff games played. something like 97 art ross trophy winners in that time, hart trophies and so on.

        might call it the most storied expansion era franchise.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Wow, way to tough out those bumps on the bandwagon, chief. You’ve given people like me something to point at when we make the claim that the majority of pens fans came on board AFTER crosby showed up.

      Now let the thumbs down commence. Go on, I can take it… I’m a MAN! If I see ONE thumbs up, Imma be PISSED.

  7. ironman721 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    Wow…wow…just saying. Great game!

  8. toiletclown - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:23 AM

    you dont see giroux doing things like this. this is how you make olympic teams. take notes

  9. pdmjr - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    Surprised by what Crosby did last night in that building? I’m not, it’s his shrine, Mecca whatever he or anyone wants to call Rogers Arena. The Vancouver faithful have a difficult time not rooting for him.

    • joey4id - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      I felt bad for the Canucks and all their fans. Van played a good game and deserved the 2 pts. Especially considering the Pens tied the game on a funky goal. Of course it was just how they drew up on the board. 😉 Sour loss for one team is an amazing win for the other.

    • hockey412 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:05 AM

      I was really surprised by the support Crosby gets from the Vancouver fans!

      • kitshky - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        You’re surprised that Western Canadian hockey fans, who also happen to live in the city here he scored the Gold Medal winning goal, support the best player in the world … who also happens to be Canadian?

      • hockey412 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        No, just the level of support, and before a game against the Nucks, is all. Typically you don’t see the ‘hero’ status that loudly announced by the fans.

    • chanceoffleury - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      I’ve made a promise to myself that I will see him play in Vancouver and Monteal before his career ends. At least some degree of a chunk of those people there last night saw him score that goal live in 2010. If Patrick Kane scored a gold medal overtime goal for Team USA at Consol I would scream my a** off until my veins popped for him if I got to go to his first game back there after doing it.

  10. jpelle82 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    went to bed pissed off when the canucks made it 4-2 with 6-7 minutes left. will never do that again, glad i kept the dvr running so i could see it this morning with my coffee. love the look on torts face after crosby tied it, he probably kicked his dog and beat his wife when he got home last night.

    • drewzducks - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Big Ben approves of your sentiment. Stay classy Steel town.

      • cofran2004 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        A good way to get thumbs down is to post anything remotely negative about the penguins in an article slobbering all over their collective knobs. Just a hint.

      • handsofsweed - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        Thank you. We will.

  11. kastout11 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    This just in, there are no shootouts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is why the Pens will have a great regular season, then Fluery will flame out and they will be knocked out of the playoffs again.

  12. soundsofsuccess7 - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    This game after losing with .6 seconds left in OT versus the Ducks.. Rough stretch, haha.

  13. soro17 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Canucks fan here, my impartial observations on the Pens after attending last nights game: nowhere near good enough to win the Cup. They would struggle to make the playoffs in the West. The Canucks were terrible last night and have been a disaster for most of the season, yet they almost stole the game against the best team in the East through 10 minutes of hard work. Malkin and Neal need to show they care – they added absolutely nothing to the game (yes, I know Malkin scored a flukey goal) and were lazy coming back and in their own end. Fleury is a disaster – that Kassian goal was embarrasing. Why are you hugging the post? Crosby, well played game and worked his ass off all night. Nice to see such skill and commitment applied consistently. Enjoyed watching Gibbons outwork everyone and make some snazzy passes when he was in the offensive zone, but with Kunitz seems a bit of a liability at the other end of the rink. Letang is also embarrassing with his flip-flopping all the time. Become a man or something. It was nice to see Pyatt and his dreamy gaze creaking back around Rogers Arena with his 30 foot turning radius. I forgot how useless he was. Tanner Glass, was also enjoyable in the sense that it is always enjoyable to watch someone earnestly try so hard but always fail to achieve anything useful. The fact that he remains in the league is probably the number one case in favour of contraction. In summary, Penguins out of the playoffs not later than the second round.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      wow. you started by saying you’re a canucks fan but then say your observations are impartial? what interested me most about your “observation” was that everyone else who watched the game would have admitted crosby had a pretty bad game going into the final minutes of the 3rd period, yet you think the opposite? considering malkin/neal/jokinen had scored 5 of the 6 goals against winnipeg the other day and another one last night, by my count thats 60% of their offense since malkin returned…crazy, they really need to step it up…smh. and thats not even considering jokinen assisted on both goals in the last 2 minutes last night either. way to passive aggressively compliment the only guy who wont be on the roster come playoff time too, but yes gibbons has been rewarded for his play by playing with sidney f’ing crosby so we already know what he does out there and why he’s still in the lineup. your hockey iq is about as high as your shoe size if you think tanner glass is useless, the guy does everything except score goals, which the penguins dont need him to do. a nice block, flawless penalty kill, and led the team in hits…again. canucks have another 40 years of drought ahead of them if they keep playing like they did last night, but you should be used to losing by now so go cry in your pillow and leave the internet alone for the rest of the day

      • soro17 - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        You can question my impartiality, but my observations have nothing to do with the Canucks. I could write an even longer summary of why they won’t get past the first round. I agree the Canucks have a drought ahead of them – they are not good, are on a downward trajectory and have no immediate help coming (maybe they will luck out and finish last a few years in a row). Which is why I was unimpressed by the Penguins. I could care less about Malkin / Neal scoring against the Jets, they aren’t any good either. As an impartial observer, I noted that Malkin and Neal should a distinct lack of ‘care’ last night and didn’t look particularly good. I will admit that I am not impartial when it comes to Tanner Glass having watched him be an average player in the BCJ for the Salsa and retain my opinion that he is a useless try-hard and I believe that scoring goals remains the objective of the game. Your blind faith in your team is admirable though and I apologize if my assessment upsets you.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        you made admittedly made an assessment based on one game. penguins found a way to win a game they shouldve won in the first place after having a terrible effort overall. sign of a good team, they did it the other day against the jets too after one of the worst performances i’ve seen all year. these last 2 games coincidentally have been terrible with addition of letang and malkin back in the line up but the pens still won. malkin has picked up where he left off, but as usual when letang comes back, the whole defensive game of the pens has been thrown off kilter and the powerplay struggles with him on it. still, the pens have managed a record of 9-2 against the west so far this year, including beating your canucks twice, ducks, sharks, and losing only to the blues and avalanche by 1 goal differential. not too shabby considering “they would struggle to make the playoffs in the west” by your assertion.

  14. penguins87and71 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    That was probably the craziest 3rd periods I have seen all year. I think a Penguins/Canucks final would be amazing. The Penguins were pretty sloppy last night and the defense wasn’t that good but I guess it could because of the jet lag.

  15. pdmjr - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    I think the Pens are right there with the best in hockey, they have beaten all comers so far. The last month with a patchwork lineup of ham and eggers. East has been doing well vs west, FYI

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