BUFFALO — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was unhappy with Buffalo Sabres forward Peyton Krebs after Krebs buckled Penguin defenseman Kris Letang behind the Penguins net.
Crosby raced over to Krebs, who was skating away, denying him an escape route. Crosby was there with ill intent and stuck up for the fallen Letang. Earlier in the second period of the Penguins win over Buffalo in the final preseason tilt, Krebs also dished an extra-legal hit on Penguins forward Noel Acciari.
“I’m glad it didn’t go on too long,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.
Crosby left Krebs no choice but to drop the gloves. The fight was on.
Crosby takes exception to Letang getting hit and drops the gloves with Krebs! 😤 pic.twitter.com/iqmMhBpZeX
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 7, 2023
Crosby didn’t have to throw many punches, but it was a decisive victory for the Penguins center, and a clear message sent. Crosby was only a goal short of the Gordie Howe hat trick into the third period. However, the refs also gave Crosby a cross-checking minor as part of the altercation.
“I just saw (Letang) get hit. I didn’t really know — I don’t think I got the right guy who actually made the initial hit,” Crosby said a little sheepishly. “I just saw the aftermath and saw two guys. It looked like two guys (skating away). So, I didn’t know it would end up that way.”
The Penguins scored four goals in less than nine minutes in the second period and three in the third for a commanding 6-3 lead.
The Penguins begin the regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 10, against Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks.