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 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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 your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close