BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Penguins scored five goals by five different players Thursday night against the Sabres. They won that game, 5-0. Sidney Crosby did not score -- let that sink in. He did finish with two assists, however.
Phil Kessel, Brian Dumoulin, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bjugstad and Jake Guentzel. Those are the names of the guys who put the puck in the net to beat the Sabres. And, up above, you'll find images from each of those players when they either scored or celebrated their goal.
Garrett Wilson nearly got one to become the sixth after a nice job to split the Sabres' defense, but he was stopped by Carter Hutton. You'll see that photo there, too, and it could have been the front-runner if he'd finished. With the number of No. 10 sweaters in the Buffalo crowd, it would have made a nice story.
For Kessel, it was a fist bump. Dumoulin, a shot through traffic. Hornqvist, watching the shot come in from Justin Schultz before changing its direction and finding it a home.
Bjugstad's wrister was right in front of me and ... yeah, I didn't include anything from Guentzel's, actually.
The image that stuck out the most to me in this game, however, was one I took of Crosby in the first period of the game. That's what I chose to lead this Sunday's Best-like View with. Crosby got the puck and was unwilling to give it up -- no matter how many additional Sabres joined forces to disrupt his play.
It made me think back on just how good he's been in those situations his whole career -- but also how prominently it's appeared in the last few weeks as the Penguins got back on track.
This is Crosby using his lower body, his legs, his physically dominant bottom half and simply -- no matter how not simple it is -- outworking everyone else. That play has extended to his feet where he, as well as Evgeni Malkin, has taken his on-ice soccer play to a new level this season.
Do yourself a favor and when you're watching the games this weekend, watch how much each of those guys plays the puck off their skates with more of a finesse polish than they have the rest of their careers. It's honestly beautiful to see.
So, yeah, that's what stuck out to me in this game. Crosby being the most dominant player in the corners, on the walls and in every other "grinder" spot you can think of. Looking like it would take a fifth Buffalo player to finally pry him from the puck.