It may have been a long time since Pittsburgh Penguins fans last saw Sidney Crosby play hockey, but Crosby made up for lost time. The Penguins captain returned to the lineup with a vengeance on Tuesday night as he tallied four points against the Minnesota Wild in a 7-3 victory. Included in Crosby’s return performance from injury was his first goal since Oct.29. Crosby missed the previous 28 games with a core muscle injury.
Crosby scored the first point of his night and return effort in the first period on a beautiful sequence on the power play. The play was made possible by Crosby as he drew all four of Minnesota’s penalty killers and dished the puck off the Malkin for a series of synchronized passing. Crosby picked up the secondary assist on the goal for his contribution on the play.
Crosby rounded out his night with another power-play assist in the first period and collected the primary assist on Dominik Simon’s fifth goal of the year. Crosby’s helper on Simon’s one-timer came just 39 seconds after Crosby scored.
Since November 12, the Penguin’s first game without Sidney Crosby, the Penguins have accumulated an 18-6-4 record for 40 points and a league-high .714 points percentage. The 40 points are tied for the second-most in the NHL in that span, trailing only Boston. The day before the Penguins’ first game without Crosby (Nov. 11), the team was tied for 11th place in the NHL standings and since then they have moved into fourth place in the overall standings.