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NHL scores 2016: Sidney Crosby has picked right back up where he left off at the World Cup

The Penguins captain has already had an affect on the team through two games.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

You would not think Sidney Crosby missed six games with a concussion by the way he’s played these last few for the Penguins. Concussions are a hard injury to gauge and harder to come back from. Crosby himself had an amazing debut way back in 2011 after the concussion that kept him out for 10 months, but was sidelined again just weeks later after taking a hit against Boston.

In two games so far after missing the first two weeks of this season, Crosby has two goals and an assist and has been an integral part of the Penguins last two wins. Before Crosby’s debut this season, Pittsburgh had been doing just okay with a 3-2-1 record. After starting the year 2-0-1, a 1-2 skid in the second week of the hockey season was starting to cause a bit of commotion in Western Pennsylvania.

With the addition of Crosby back into the lineup, however, things have seemingly settled down for Pittsburgh. Their captain was directly responsible for both of their last two wins, as on Tuesday Crosby started their two-goal comeback in the Penguins’ 3-2 win. Thursday, he picked up a goal and an assist in the 4-2 victory over the Islanders.

One of the Penguins’ biggest concerns, their power play, has also jumped to life with Crosby back. The captain’s goal on Tuesday was a power play tally and his primary assist against the Islanders on Thursday was all of his doing on a gorgeous tic-tac-toe play down low for a special teams goal.

It’s hard to say the addition of Crosby will necessarily fix all of the problems in Pittsburgh, as they played some extremely lax defense that allowed 37 Islanders shots. Still, the Penguins’ best player is back on the ice and looking just as dangerous as he was when he won the MVP of the World Cup of Hockey.


Wild 4, Sabres 0
Penguins 4, Islanders 2
Coyotes 5, Flyers 4
Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 2
Canadiens 3, Lightning 1
Red Wings 2, Blues 1 (SO)
Jets 4, Stars 1
Kings 3, Predators 2 (OT)
Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 1

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Three things we learned

1. Hockey got weird in Philadelphia

I’m not sure what it is about Flyers and Coyotes games, but there’s some strange things that happen when these two teams get together. Just on Thursday, a wacky third period contributed to Arizona’s season sweep of the orange and black.

First, the Coyotes scored a go-ahead goal while a fight was occurring down the ice. A huge — but legal — hit by Brayden Schenn caused the scrap while Arizona went down the ice seconds after to score. It was originally called a goal on the ice, but took a few minutes to confirm via replay.

Less than two minutes later, the Coyotes scored again after Steve Mason was pushed into the net. It was challenged, but the officials came to the consensus that Ivan Provorov pushed Brad Richardson, making the contact with Mason unavoidable.

Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol was, clearly, not pleased.

There were a multitude of other reasons why the Flyers lost, but this sequence of events was certainly a weird one to behold.

2. Ben Bishop made a fun, but illegal, hockey play

As the Lightning failed like so many other teams have this year to give the Canadiens their first regulation loss, goaltender Ben Bishop made a play that probably stopped a few hearts in Tampa Bay.

There were so many ways this could have gone wrong, yet it didn’t! Still, it wasn’t exactly legal.

The Lightning should have been down a man thanks to Bishop’s aggressive move. Who knew? Time to mark “obscure NHL rule” off your bingo cards for this first month of hockey.

3. The Maple Leafs had a lead, and kept it!

The bane of Toronto’s season thus far has been their inability to hold leads at key times, especially big ones. However, on Thursday, they were not only able to make a comeback, they also held onto their one-goal lead for a 3-2 victory over the Panthers!

A key contributor to the Maple Leafs victory was rookie Mitch Marner, who added three assists in the win. Toronto has to be thrilled by the production of their first-year players so far.

Impact Moment

The Blues lost in a shootout to the Red Wings, but a big reason they got there was thanks to Jake Allen. Both Allen and Petr Mrazek had highlight reel saves throughout the game, but this one from the Blues netminder seems to defy physics.

Stat of the Night

It’s easy to forget the Canadiens had a strong start to last season ... oh and the season before that, too.

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