He played like he never missed a day.
Crosby recorded four points in the Penguins’ 7-3 win and was at times a one-man highlight reel.
He returned to the scoresheet almost immediately when he recorded an assist on Evgeni Malkin‘s power play just 7:57 into the first period and never really slowed down after that. His best stretch came midway through the third period when he scored his sixth goal of the season to give the Penguins a 5-2 lead. It came off a great feed from Jared McCann (who had just drawn a penalty for being tripped) and bounced in off the stick of Wild defenseman Mathew Dumba. Just 39 seconds later he did this to set up Dominik Simon for a goal.
With Crosby’s regular winger — Jake Guentzel — sidelined, he spent most of his night playing alongside McCann and Simon, and all three of them had huge games.
Simon and McCann each had a goal and an assist in the win and helped team up for a highlight reel goal of their own.
The Penguins’ other superstar center, Evgeni Malkin, also had a huge game with two goals and an assist.
Without Crosby the Penguins went 18-6-4 and had the league’s best record with him out of the lineup. They looked downright dominant with him back in the lineup on Tuesday.