Three Stars: Sidney Crosby snaps slump in Penguins’ Game 2 win
It took a little bit of extra time on Monday, but the Pittsburgh Penguins evened out the Eastern Conference finals with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
As the series heads to Tampa for Game 3, here’s who stood out to us:
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Who else? Crosby scored the game-winner 40 seconds into OT, snapping an eight-game slump and potentially saving Pittsburgh's season in the process. But even before the goal, Sid was dialed in for Game 2. He was all over the puck, and had been robbed twice by Andrei Vasilevskiy before finally breaking through in the extra period.
“It feels good to get rewarded,” he said. “I think we deserved that one tonight.”
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
He was held off the score sheet but there was no denying Letang's impact on the game. He led all players with seven shots on goal and chipped in with two hits and a pair of blocks while playing a game-high 27:56. But it was his ability to move the puck in transition that helped the Pens dominate the first and third periods. He was on the ice for 32 shot attempts by Pittsburgh at even strength, compared to just 17 by the Lightning. The +15 difference topped all skaters.
Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning
Drouin just wrote another chapter in his story of redemption. The 21-year-old was Tampa Bay’s most electric performer in Game 2, creating a series of chances with his speed and pinpoint passing. And he wasn't afraid to call his own number when the time was right, something he was hesitant to do last season. Drouin tied the game up late in the first period, beating Matt Murray with a bullet under the arm after a thrilling rush down the right wing. The more often he reminds everyone he's more than just a playmaker, the more effective he'll be.