By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Entering Monday night, Sidney Crosby had taken the ice for 29 playoff overtime periods without scoring a goal. In Game 2 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, Crosby finally broke the drought with his first career sudden-death playoff tally, snapping a top-shelf one-timer past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevsky.READ MORE: Driver Struck And Killed By Commuter Rail Train At Wilmington Crossing
Crosby had been quieted in recent playoff games for the Penguins while more unlikely heroes have stepped up. Crosby hadn’t found the back of the net since Game 4 of the first round against the New York Rangers.
When Crosby was asked how he felt to finally break the recent and career-long scoring droughts, he said: “Just happy. … Whether I scored in the last seven games or hadn’t scored in the last whatever, it feels good to get rewarded. I think we deserved the win tonight. To be in the playoffs here, it’s a great opportunity, and to score and contribute, it feels good.”READ MORE: DA: Tyngsboro Police Tried To Stop Car Before Fatal Crash With Garbage Truck
Crosby now has one career game-winning goal in overtime of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 113 career playoff games. Marian Hossa, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis, Petr Sykora, Bill Guerin, Chris Kunitz, Patric Hornqvist, Brooks Orpik, and most recently, Nick Bonino all scored playoff overtime winners in that span.
Crosby, however, assisted on three of those goals, so it’s not like No. 87 has completely disappeared in his playoff OT career. Still, the Penguins’ six-year drought without a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals has felt too long since Crosby led the team to the championship in 2009 and it looked and felt like the Penguins were about to go on an extended run of playoff dominance.
Things haven’t quite worked out for Crosby in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since getting his first ring, but after lighting the lamp for the first time in a month he may be ready to take over the playoffs in a way that hasn’t been seen since he scored 15 goals in 24 games in 2009, despite scoring just one in the Cup Finals.
If the Penguins can advance to the Finals, Crosby will have his first chance to really dominate a series with the Cup on the line. He broke a couple of playoff droughts on Monday – it’s time for him to crack another.MORE NEWS: Bryan Purdie Held Without Bail For Alleged Home Invasion, Kidnapping In Falmouth
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.