Friday, March 02, 2007

Penguins 2 - Hurricanes 3: Crosby Nabs Another Record

'Twas another loss for the suddenly struggling Pens, but Crosby set another record with his goal in the first period. With the goal Crosby becomes the youngest player to ever record 200 points in the NHL.

The goal was Crosby's only point on the night, as he finished with 4 shots and EVEN in 22:41 of ice time. Crosby's been getting lots of ice, but hasn't been piling up the points quickly as of late.

Game recap from Yahoo!:
Back-to-back losses earlier this week left the Carolina Hurricanes out of the playoff picture and in danger of becoming only the third Stanley Cup champion to miss the postseason in the following year.

Instead of working out the troubles in practice, coach Peter Laviolette decided to give his players a day off. The strategy worked perfectly.

"You lose two in a row, it's hard," right wing Scott Walker said. "If you come to the rink the next day, it's still there in the room. It was nice to get some time off."

Walker scored two goals, Cam Ward made 22 saves and Carolina got a much-needed victory by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Friday night.

The loss spoiled a record-setting night for Pittsburgh second-year center Sidney Crosby, who became the youngest NHL player to reach 200 career points with a goal in the first period. The 19-year-old already was the youngest player to start the All-Star game since fan balloting began in 1986.

He had an unconventional wraparound, where he sent the puck to the far side of the net.

"I never thought that would happen," Crosby said. "It's a nice accomplishment."

Frantisek Kaberle also scored for the Hurricanes, who snapped a two-game losing streak to move in front of the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens played later against Buffalo.

Ryan Malone tied the game at 2 in the second period with his 13th goal of the season, but the Penguins lost for the fourth time in six games. The Penguins still hold fifth place in the East.

The teams combined to go 0-for-13 on the power play in a game with playoff intensity. The Hurricanes improved to 17-13-4 at home. Last season they were 31-8-2.

"I don't think we've played very well at home in front of our fans, but whether it's home or road, the biggest thing are the points right now," Laviolette said.

"Every night, there are games going on, and we have to keep pace."

Crosby leads the league with 98 points, well on his way to his second consecutive season with at least 100. Wayne Gretzky is the only other teenager to reach 200 points, reaching the mark shortly before his 20th birthday.

Crosby won't be 20 until August.

"He's a heck of a player," said Ward, who played against Crosby in the junior leagues. "It was smart on his part to throw it to that side."

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