Crosby wants to keep cooking against Flyers in Thanksgiving Showdown

Crosby wants to keep cooking against Flyers in Thanksgiving Showdown

Crosby wants to keep cooking against Flyers in Thanksgiving Showdown

Sidney CrosbyThe drive to succeed has been one of the defining characteristics of his 18-season NHL career.

And one of the main fuel providers for that interior drive comes as the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar center looks a few hundred miles to the east.

“It’s just a game that always seems like there’s a little bit more to it,” Crosby said this week of the Keystone State rivalry between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. “I think it’s been that way for a long time.”

The final chapter in this rivalry will be written Friday when the Penguins visit the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in the 2022 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (5:30 p.m. ET; TNT, SN, TVAS).

One of the first chapters was a defining game in Crosby’s NHL career.

It was November 16, 2005, Crosby’s second game in Philadelphia. In his first game in the city a month earlier, he had a goal and an assist. But for this visit, Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher made it a tougher experience for the 18-year-old.

In the first period, Hatcher placed Crosby in the mouth, leaving him furious, missing a few teeth and needing stitches in his lip. In the second period, Hatcher’s stick put Crosby in the face again.

Video: Sidney CrosbyTop 10 career highlights

Neither case was sanctioned, until Crosby’s complaints earned him a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

“That’s part of the game,” Crosby said during the telecast. “It’s not the first time I’ve had a high stick, it probably won’t be the last… When he got the second one and I ended up getting the two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, it’s hard to deal with. Get it once. n’ it was enough. For him to leave with two like that, it’s a shame.”

Instead of getting angry, Crosby came back in the best possible way. In the last minute of overtime he received a pass from Ryan Malone, skated alone over goalkeeper Antero Niittymaki and scored.

It was the first of Crosby’s 80 NHL game-winning goals, including six against the Flyers, tied with Ryan Callahan and Jaromir Jagr for the NHL most by an opposing player against the Flyers since his rookie season in 2005- 06. .

Crosby credits that game with helping him understand how hard he would have to work to succeed in the NHL.

“You’re going to expect them to be tough games and that kind of thing,” he said. “So going through it early and understanding what it’s about and getting through it, that helps when you get lessons like early on.”

Crosby certainly put those lessons to good use against the Flyers.

His 51 goals are tied with Mario Lemieux for the most by an opposing player against the Flyers, and his 120 points are second to Lemieux (124).

His damage has been further reduced when the games are in Philadelphia, with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 39 games in the city. That’s more points than any other visiting player, and his 24 goals are tied with the Lemieux and Washington Capitals forward. Alex Ovechkin.

Of the 24 goals in Philadelphia, 23 have come at the Wells Fargo Center (in 38 games) and he scored the first goal of the 2019 Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

He has scored 27 goals in Pittsburgh against the Flyers, 13 at Mellon Arena, 13 at PPG Paints Arena and one during the 2017 Stadium Series at what was then called Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 27 goals are tied with Lemieux for the most by a Penguins player in Pittsburgh against the Flyers.

Crosby has been just as deadly against the Flyers in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins have won three of the four playoff series between the teams since Crosby entered the NHL, and he has more goals (15), assists (21) and points (36) than any player who has skated against Philadelphia in the postseason

The height of dislike came during the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals. After a physical Game 3 in Philadelphia that featured Crosby and Flyers captain Claude Giroux struggling in the first period, Crosby said, “I don’t like any guy on their team over there. . . . I don’t like them, because I don’t like any guy on their team.”

The next game, the Flyers handed out T-shirts to fans that said “Guess what? We don’t like you either!”

That animosity, however, has fueled Crosby, and his teammates expect more of the same when the Penguins visit the Flyers on Thursday.

“When he hears the boos and stuff, when he gets the puck, knowing Sid, I think that helps him,” the defenseman said. Brian Dumoulin said “Whether he’s having a good period, a bad period, any time you hear that and he’s getting booed, people are cheering for him, I mean, it’s got to be pretty cool.”

NHL.com freelance correspondent Wes Crosby contributed to this report

#Crosby #cooking #Flyers #Thanksgiving #Showdown

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