Hockey Headlines: Sidney Crosby Plays Overtime Hero

A collection of the latest news from around the world of hockey:

The Pittsburgh Penguins got through their series against the Washington Capitals on the backs of hot goaltending and secondary scoring. Their first game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to be void of both those things. Had the Pens magic run out? Had they finally met their match? Had Matt Murray’s luster worn off? Despite a tied series, we’re still asking all those questions. The Lightning beat the Pens at their own game. Whether they can do that three more times over the course of the next week remains to be seen.

Anton Stralman
Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

But it felt like a must-win for Pittsburgh in Game 2, there’s no doubt about that. Especially with Steven Stamkos working his way back, and Ben Bishop likely to return soon. The Pens came out of the gate flying and quickly went up 2-0, but the Lightning tied it before the first period ended. Were we finally going to see Marc-Andre Fleury? You got the sense that had there been a third goal, we would have. But Murray and the defence held the fort, while the offence threw everything they could on another 21-year old goalie. [Post Gazette]

Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding. He was the reason Tampa stayed in that game. Judging by the way this series has gone in the early going, it’s abundantly clear that the Penguins will need their best players to be their best players, because the Lightning don’t give up much. (Though they did take advantage of a rusty Anton Stralman in his return to the lineup). Both Crosby and Malkin were having goal droughts. At the same time, during the most important stretch of the year. Its happened before. Far too often actually, considering the skill level and their salaries. [The Hockey News]

Sidney Crosby had never scored a playoff overtime goal, which is crazy to think about, unless you follow his career closely, and you know how easily he’s shut down when it matters most. During the 2010 Olympic Games, Crosby wasn’t the star, he didn’t score all the goals. But he scored the last one, the only one people remember. It felt a little like that in this series. Previously invisible, suddenly wakes up to be the hero. And I guess that’s what great players do. They seize the moment and come through. But if the Penguins hope to win this series, they will need a whole lot more of those heroics (from Malkin too). [Pensburgh]

Evgeni Malkin
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the Olympics, it appears as though we’ve seen the last of NHL participation. Unless this is some kind of ploy to get more money. [Yahoo]

What’s the deal with Tampa’s dress code? [CBS Local]

Have the Jets found their number one center? [Todays Slapshot]

What went wrong for the eliminated playoff teams? [Sportsnet]

A different take on Alex Ovechkin’s responsibility in the Capitals latest loss. [New York Post]

Can the Sharks tie up their series tonight? [Blades of Teal], [NY Times]

And finally, Don Cherry talks baseball. [CBC]