Sunday’s Best: The NHL’s best until they aren’t


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Sidney Crosby celebrates his first of two goals. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

"To be the best, you've got to beat the best."

The Lightning had a chance to sweep the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, and the Penguins had a chance to beat the NHL's best team amidst a rough patch. Both teams wanted this win for their resume, but the Penguins needed it to prove they were a threat to the East and to the league ... and I had the best seat in the house for it.

Three goals in the first period ... when does that happen!?

The last year and a half has been so comically second period-heavy that I barely expect to see the puck for my 20 minutes of defensive zone time because the Penguins will be too busy scoring. Saturday night, though, Bryan Rust started a party right in front of me while shorthanded, and it never stopped. Sure, the second period featured a Phil Kessel beauty of a bar-down snipe, but it was primarily a chance to celebrate Tristan Jarry's emergence.

Up top is a gleeful Sidney Crosby celebrating his first goal of his two-goal game, and certainly the upward trajectory of his recent play.

Let's take a look at the rest of my favorites from the 5-2 win over the Lightning:

[caption id="attachment_486921" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Chris Kunitz takes the ice in his return to Pittsburgh. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486922" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Sidney Crosby cuts back toward the slot for an early shot on goal. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486923" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Chris Kunitz acknowledges the crowd during his video tribute. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486924" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bryan Rust opens the scoring while shorthanded. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486925" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Patric Hornqvist fights through a stick lift from Tyler Johnson. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486926" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Phil Kessel buries a 5-on-3 chance past Peter Budaj. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486927" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal with Phil Kessel. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486929" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Chris Kunitz triest to make away with Sidney Crosby's stick. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486930" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Carl Hagelin and Carter Rowney fight for the puck with Cedric Paquette. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486931" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Tristan Jarry makes a post-to-post save on Nikita Kucherov. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486932" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Chad Ruhwedel and Brian Dumoulin shut down Mikhail Sergachev. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486933" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Tristan Jarry scrambles to get back into position as a free puck bounces in the crease. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486934" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Patric Hornqvist and Sidney Crosby celebrate Crosby's second goal of the game. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_486935" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Iceburgh watches Tristan Jarry emerge as he's announced the number three star following his first win. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]


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