The Pittsburgh Penguins won Game 1 of their first round series with the New York Islanders without Sidney Crosby. Then, when he returned, they lost 2 of the next 3, leading some to joke that Crosby was the problem.
At least I assume everyone was joking. But just in case someone wasn't and there was any doubt about the sort of game-breaking, marquee superstar-power that Sidney Crosby can bring to the Penguins lineup, on Thursday, he did this:
Give the man a statue.
The play may not have wrested the momentum back for the Penguins -- the goal made it 3-0, so they were already doing all right -- but it certainly left no doubt who had it.
Tomas Vokoun was the story going into this one, and he did as he was asked in relief, stopping all 31 shots he faced in the 4-0 shutout to lead Pittsburgh to the win in Game 5.
But Crosby will be the story going out.
He looked like he was in turbo mode here. The ease with which he left Lubomir Visnovsky behind is stunning. And you have to feel for Thomas Hickey, left to skate back to the bench, unsure of whether or not he's a ghost. I imagine, at soon as he sat down, he turned to a teammate and said, "I am a corporeal entity, right?"
The goal was eerily reminiscent of another one of the great goals not just in NHL history, but Penguins history.
It's hard not to watch Crosby use his speed and power to split the Isles D with relative ease and not see shades of Mario Lemieux vs. the Minnesota North Stars:
Aahhhhhhhhh still so good.
Anyway, you know, Lemieux fell down, so point Crosby.
With that statement, the Penguins head back to Nassau Coliseum with a chance to close out the series and move on to Round 2.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney