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From the Arena: Sidney Crosby, Shift-by-Shift Effort Carries Penguins

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Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby

(TORONTO, ON) — As we will point out in other notes, and was obvious through observing Game 1, Sidney Crosby was possessed. He had fresh legs and brought all of his talents, savvy, and energy. It was a great choice by you, the fans who voted via Twitter for our first Shift Diary story.

Crosby was an exercise in determination and competitiveness. The Pittsburgh Penguins lost, 3-2 in OT, but Crosby’s effort was consistently above his competition.

Welcome former NHL Network host and hockey guy Rob Simpson to PHN. Follow Rob on Twitter, @simmerpuck. He will be helping us throughout the NHL playoffs.

Sidney Crosby – 1st Period

0:00-0:43 Crosby loses draw and jabs opponent Danault with his stick off the faceoff. Montreal gains zone after regroup and gets a scoring chance. Sid hustles back to tie-up in front of the net. The Penguins clear, he heads to the bench after the puck is sent deep.

3:05-3:48 Circles back in the neutral zone after hopping on ice. Joins rush and helps with pressure as Penguins gain zone. The pass comes through his legs in front from behind the net. Shortly after that he gets a pass/shot off from the RW circle that is broken up. Scrappy play along the end boards. Heads to bench off MTL clear.

5:50-6:35 Off the bench to take O-zone face-off in the LW circle. Loses draw. Back peddles with teammates to regain possession but next rush results in an icing. Wins ensuing D-zone draw but quickly up ice results in another icing. Loses this draw. MTL shot from the point is deflected wide. Scramble in D-zone. Finally poked out and change made.

8:27-9:23 Very involved. Joins rush after D zone regroups, his long RW pass it too hard, ends up with both teams coughing up the puck in the neutral zone. After regaining possession, with speed, Sid up ice to gain zone on the fly. No shot but pressure. Tangled up behind the net. Bumped off in LW corner. MTL clears. He heads to the bench.

(MTL 1, PIT 0 – Kotkaniemi at 11:27)

11:27-11:44 Center ice draw, into Habs zone. Sid on the forecheck. Loses/breaks his stick. On the way to bench without one, he runs hard into Max Domi. Steps off.

13:27-14:05 Cruising into O-zone on the right side trying to help set up a forecheck. Habs clear and get scoring chance off the rush. Defensive posture and chase for a stint. To bench off clear.

16:40-18:11 Coming off a stretch without a shift because of the PK, he hops out and earns and pressured Montreal into icing. He wins the LW circle O-zone draw. Off more immediate pressure, the Penguins earn a power play (Danault for holding at 17:04) Sid stays out, joined by Malkin and rest of the PP. Another LW O-zone face-off. Sid wins it, but Geno’s point shot is blocked and puck cleared. The next rush is stopped and cleared. In again they go, Sid along the LW boards, slides over to RW circle. A left point shot from Malkin slips through Price and may have rubbed off the post. Habs clear and the PP units switch up.

18:50-19:40 – Quick chance upfront turns into a backcheck. Sid hustles behind his own net to help, delivers a bump and Penguins clear. He races up ice to receive a pass up the middle but it’s broken up. At one point he actually got a stick on a shot in his own zone and slightly deflected it on to Murray. Simply part of is energy. He’s effectively all over the ice in the 1st.

2nd Period

0:00-0:41 Sidney Crosby loses the opening draw but Pens quickly regain possession after MTL dump in. Chipped ahead, deflected pass ends up under Carey Price for a faceoff. Sid wins the RW draw and Pittsburgh gets a deflected point shot as a result. After a Habs clear, Sid comes back in with speed on a partial 2-on-1 that gets broken up going to the net. The battle with Danault continues – physicality behind the net.

3:12-4:20 Sid wins neutral zone draw. A long dump-in shot is steered aside by Price. Habs up ice, fail to gain zone. Crosby is one who breaks it up. Penguins are then guilty of icing. Sid wins draw in D-zone but MTL steals the puck and gets a shot on goal. Pressure continues by Canadiens with a couple of shots and a scoring chance. Defensive posture. Clear made, change follows.

(MTL 2, PIT 0 – Suzuki at 6:53)

6:53-7:37 Sid takes center ice draw after MTL goal and loses it. Habs into the zone with pressure alongside of net. Pens clear. MTL right back in. Sid steals the puck and starts the other way, enters the zone, John Marino fans on a drop pass. Sid to the bench after Habs clear.

9:15-9:55 Off the bench for quick forecheck that fails. The Penguins regroup in the neutral zone. Rush in. Sid with two scoring chances. In slot he gets hooked while taking shot going towards net. On delayed penalty call, he continues to corner and scores a patented tough angle Crosby goal from the RW goal line. Whacks bouncing puck in behind Price.

(MTL 2, PIT 1 – Crosby at 9:55)

10:59-12:22 Pittsburgh on the power play coming off the mid-period TV timeout. Sid wins tie-up face-off in LW circle. Two scoring chances off point shots and rebounds. Crosby cross-slot pass is broken up and Habs clear. Pens back in to gain the zone. A left-wing shot is covered by Price. LW face-off again with 1:20 left in PP. One-timer off draw is just wide. Two short-handed 2-on-1’s for Montreal – the first one forces Murray to make a huge save. The second one is broken up. A tired Crosby heads off after Price covers puck.

(MTL 2, PIT 2 – Rust at 12:34)

14:02-14:49 Hops off the bench to join the rush and have shot deflected wide from the LW circle. Habs breakout but quickly turn it over at the Penguins line. Errant pass results in an arguable icing infraction. D-zone daw won and cleared.

16:03-17:07 Penguins on the PP coming out of TV timeout. Sid wins LW draw. Malkin point shot deflected just wide and Habs able to clear. Some time spent regaining the zone. Finally, in the zone, Crosby pass to Geno is ripped high and wide from the point. Habs clear and teams make a full change.

19:47-20:00 Out to take D-zone draw to Murray’s right. Chopped out to neutral zone and the period ends.

3rd Period

0:00-3:10 Sidney Crosby loses a face-off battle but not much comes of the Habs possession. After a turnover, the Penguins get a great scoring chance from Letang joining the play late in the high slot. Shot deflected. Sid was an option RW circle. The play results in a Pittsburgh power play as Danault goes off for slashing. After the puck drop, Sid gets whacked in the head with a high stick in the LW corner by Ben Chiarot and time-out is called to prepare for the 5-on-3. Montreal wins the LW face-off and the puck caroms off the linesman and out of play. LW draw again, Sid wins it clean. He comes around to RW. Now to point. Shot wide, Malkin. Great job by Habs in triangle results in limited opportunity. One clear kills the first penalty off, not much pressure after that, and both parts of PK successful. Boys to the bench.

6:06-6:55 Out for the start of a PP with Paul Byron in the penalty box, Sid won the first face-off LW that resulted in setting up the zone, a shot, and a stoppage. Sid lost the next draw and the Habs cleared.

9:50-10:25 Off the bench on the fly in the defensive zone, he helped start a rush. Not much developed entering the O-zone, but Sid did create havoc with a one-man forecheck along the RW boards. The Habs eventually cleared and the puck went out of play without harm to end the shift.

12:21-13:15 Neutral zone stance waiting for Habs rush. Puck gained, on the counter-attack, Sid gets deep and creates forecheck. A turnover hits a skate and comes to the N-zone. Play results in a Penguins icing D-zone draw that Sid wins and the Penguins clear for a line change.

14:25-14:53 LW face-off win in O-zone and scoring chance. After a Letang shot is blocked, Sid got a chance n the backhand in the slot. Sid doesn’t get full wood on it. Habs clear.

16:35-17:55 Neutral zone defensive posture. Montreal turns it over trying to gain zone. On the counter-attack, Conor Sheary gets hooked on a breakaway and is awarded a penalty shot. (Failed) Before the whistle, Crosby had a chance to score from the LW circle on a feed from Sheary and Price made a ridiculous stop. After the PS, Habs gain the zone and put on limited pressure for the first time in a while. Petry shot from the point deflects off the crossbar. Sid and teammates in a mild scramble.

19:04-19:23 Off Montreal icing, face-off in O-zone in LW circle. Sid loses it. Stretch pass from Habs fails. Sid back into zone taking LW pass but can’t do much with it. To the bench after a whistle.

Overtime

0:00-:35 Sidney Crosby loses opening draw but patiently waits in the neutral zone to regain possession, which Pens do. Counterattack leads to a golden scoring opportunity. Sid holds puck through RW circle as D-man sprawls, his pass to Conor Sheary results in a great chance that went wide.

2:40-3:09 Off bench just in time to join backcheck as a Montreal shot from RW is cradled by Murray. Off face-off loss, Habs create traffic and a threat but don’t get good shot off. Crosby in the slot. After a turnover and ensuing Pitt rush, Danault goes off for hooking at 3:09. 2nd unit out first.

4:16-5:55 Off bench to join PP set-up. Shot from Malkin at point caught and held by Price. LW face-off. Sid wins it. Great save by Price off a Guentzel shot. Habs clear. Shorthanded rush turns into even strength sustained pressure. Sid part of pile-up scramble in front of Murray as the puck bounces dangerously. He chops at it far boards but it’s kept in one more time. Finally to the bench.

9:25-10:16 LW O-zone face-off following a Montreal icing. Habs win it but turnover leads to chance in front for Sheary. Habs clear, Sid sends it back in. MTL clears down and gets a post-icing line change. Crosby hops as well.

11:55-13:14 Sid out for RW circle face-off which he wins. Shot wide from the point. Regroup after clear, Penguins set up in-zone with lots of pressure. Habs lose a stick and Penguins swarm but no grade-A chances with the bouncing puck. Sid operating from down low RW post.

(MTL 3, PIT 2 – Petry at 13:57)

OT Winner

Crosby’s official league stats: TOI 24:46, 7:48 on PP, :11 SH. 5 shots on goal, 2 hits, 1 Goal, finished plus-1.

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