Sidney Crosby scores goal of the season vs. Sabres

During a heated matchup between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ristolainen - a defenseman for the Sabres - found himself bowing out of the contest a bit early. Guess we'll find out on Thursday how long the depleted Buffalo Sabres blueline will have to play without their best player. Huge hit, just can't do this so reckless to go in and slam in backwards on a guy without even seeing puck, should be a suspension coming too. Sidney Crosby leads Pittsburgh with 40 goals, Evgeni Malkin has 39 assists and Phil Kessel has 197 shots on goal. The Penguins are averaging 3.5 goals per game and are scoring on 22.1 percent of their power play opportunities.

After the game, Coach Sullivan would note that Guentzel indeed had a concussion.

Guentzel was leaving the defensive zone, skating with his head down as he looked for a puck that was pinballing behind him, when Ristolainen crushed him. Guentzel got up briefly before stumbling to the ice and did not return after being escorted immediately to the locker room. It was a possible game-chainging penalty kill at the time for the Sabres. On two separate occasions, Crosby put out one arm to shield a defender's stick from knocking away the puck.

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And he only needed one hand to do it.

But the Pittsburgh captain was left feeling groggy at the end of the match after being high-sticked by Evander Kane in the final seconds, a shot that knocked out several of his teeth.

Despite the injury and a Sam Reinhart goal early in the third period that tied the score 1-1, the Penguins rallied late in the third. Things escalated quickly from there, with both players throwing punches.

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On the night the Penguins clinched a playoff spot for the 11th straight season, both the beauty and ugliness of pro hockey were on display in Buffalo. Bonino followed up and snapped a shot through a crowd to beat Lehner just inside the left post.

The Penguins got four power plays (including a five-minute major and a double minor) tonight while the Sabres only were awarded one.

Crosby did not speak to the media after the game, and will more than likely spend Wednesday getting some dental work done.

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