Penguins stars as good as advertised vs. Wild

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 30, 2007 - 11:52 PM

The fans at Xcel Energy Center got their first look at Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in person, and the Penguins young stars did not disappoint, but the Wild did.

Prior to Tuesday night, it was an urban legend in Minnesota that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin even existed.

They were like the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch. Sure, there were pictures, but there was a chance they were doctored.

Guess what Wild fans -- the Pittsburgh Penguins stars are for real, their presence authenticated by an overflow sellout crowd at Xcel Energy Center during a 4-2 Penguins' victory.

As advertised, Crosby, the 20-year-old reigning NHL MVP, scored a backbreaking third-period breakaway goal and had the primary assist on three others for his ninth career four-point game. Malkin, the 21-year-old reigning Rookie of the Year, scored twice and had an assist.

In the end, the injury-riddled Wild -- which played without Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra and Niklas Backstrom and lost defenseman Kim Johnsson in the second period to a bruised leg -- fell to 0-3-1 in its past four, its longest winless streak since last November.

"They're that type of players," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said of Crosby and Malkin. "Because we were playing tight, we didn't give them any room. As soon as they get it, they can create, beat people and score goals. That's what they did."

And it's not like Crosby, who has 17 points during a 10-game point streak, and Malkin, who has nine points in four games, were flying all over the ice. Sure, there was Crosby's sweet-looking breakaway for Pittsburgh's fourth goal, one in which he took Sergei Gonchar's home-run pass and took off with a burst of speed unparalleled in the NHL.

But Malkin's first two goals were fluky -- one after Crosby lost the puck behind the net and the other after former St. Cloud State forward Ryan Malone's shot ricocheted off Crosby's skate and to Malkin with a wide-open net staring him down.

"They didn't dominate," said Brian Rolston, whose sixth goal in eight games tied the score at 2-2 early in the third. "It was the little plays that they made. Through the neutral zone, we shut them down, I thought.

"Wes [Walz's] line did a pretty good job against them. It wasn't a big show out there, that's for sure."

But Walz, who skated next to Stephane Veilleux and Branko Radivojevic, wasn't taking any solace in shutting down the speed of Pittsburgh's prolific top line. After all, Crosby, Malkin and Malone had nine points.

Last year, the Wild shut down Washington's Alex Ovechkin and held Atlanta superstars Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa to no shots. But in recent losses to Calgary, Edmonton and Colorado, top scorers Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Ales Hemsky, Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth have lit up the Wild like a jack-o'-lantern.

"We talked before the game that a lot of the other team's top guys are scoring lately," Walz said. "It was evident again tonight. The top guys score and we lost."

Veilleux tied the score at 1-1 with his first goal in 21 games in the second period, but 14 seconds later, Malkin scored again. But at 6:26 of the third, one minute after rookie James Sheppard's first NHL fight incited the crowd, Mikko Koivu threw a puck into the crease and Rolston pounced.

But Brent Burns, who has taken nine minors in the past seven games, tripped Maxime Talbot two minutes later, and Crosby set up Petr Sykora on the power play for a 3-2 lead, the eventual winner.

"Burnsie's having a tough time right now," Lemaire said. "He's capable of playing much better, and we need him to play much better. Let's say it's just a bad stretch."

 

 

Michael Russo • mrusso@startribune.com

  • PITTSBURGH 4, WILD 2

    Up next: vs. St. Louis • 7 p.m. Thursday • Xcel Energy Center • TV: Ch. 45 • Radio: 830-AM

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 39 2nd Qtr 1:03
Indiana 45
Sacramento 56 2nd Qtr 0:53
Orlando 66
Utah 41 2nd Qtr 1:09
Philadelphia 42
Miami 39 2nd Qtr 1:20
Washington 67
Toronto 42 3rd Qtr
Charlotte 53
Cleveland 19 1st Qtr 0:45
Atlanta 34
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 1 2nd Prd 18:40
New Jersey 0
Minnesota 1 2nd Prd 17:29
Carolina 0
Buffalo 1 1st Prd 6:07
Ottawa 0
Calgary 1 1st Prd 5:50
Detroit 2
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 64 1st OT 2:15
Elon 70
Gardner-Webb 69 1st OT 2:18
High Point 66
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 20 2nd Half
Ball State 22
Bowling Green 35 2nd Half
Buffalo 35
Brown 35 2nd Half
Dartmouth 22
Toledo 29 2nd Half
Eastern Mich 31
Akron 31 2nd Half 19:17
Kent State 37
Ill-Chicago 25 2nd Half
Oakland 30
Miami-Ohio 30 2nd Half
Ohio 53
Columbia 9 2nd Half
Penn 23
Cornell 25 2nd Half
Princeton 32
Central Mich 22 2nd Half
Western Mich 39
Bradley 25 2nd Half
Northern Iowa 27
Morehead State 22 1st Half 6:27
Murray State 25
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
SMU 57 2nd Half 1:24
Memphis 65
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 25 2nd Half
Duquesne 29
North Florida 15 2nd Half
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 30
Kennesaw St 29 2nd Half
Jacksonville 27
USC Upstate 15 2nd Half
Northern Ky 24
Lipscomb 22 2nd Half 19:01
Stetson 51
Nebraska 33 2nd Half
(14) Iowa 36
Saint Peters 30 2nd Half 17:14
Marist 25
Navy 28 2nd Half 17:38
Bucknell 22
Lafayette 29 2nd Half 20:00
American Univ 34
Colgate 15 2nd Half 19:15
Army 22
Georgia 11 2nd Half
(5) Tennessee 32
Dartmouth 43 2nd Half 15:50
Brown 29
Penn 22 2nd Half 19:15
Columbia 15
(13) Princeton 55 2nd Half 11:59
Cornell 24
Kansas 12 2nd Half
Kansas State 23
Harvard 45 2nd Half 13:47
Yale 44
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close