Patrick Marleau scored twice as many goals in a single period Monday as the Avalanche managed all game.
The 37-year-old Sharks winger went off for four goals in a frenzied third period that capped a 5-2 win in Denver. He’s the 12th player in NHL history with four goals in a period and became the first to do so since Mario Lemieux on Jan. 26, 1997 nearly 20 years ago to the day.
In what became a storybook backdrop for NBC, snow fell as both teams played to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation. After neither team was able to score in overtime, the first Winter Classic went to a shootout. With a chance to win the game for Pittsburgh, Crosby hopped over the boards to take his attempt on goaltender Ryan Miller. As he slowly skated toward goal, it was difficult to tell whether it was the elements or Crosby himself who dictated the pace, but a few quick stickhandles later and Crosby beat Miller, giving the Penguins a 2-1 victory.
The expectations for Crosby’s freshman campaign in the NHL were immense. Pegged as the league’s next great star, not only was Crosby supposed to be dominant, but with his expected rookie season of 2004-05 canceled due to a lockout, anticipation grew and the wait for Crosby left anxious fans to only dream about the teenage phenom wearing a Penguins jersey.
Crosby did not disappoint, though, eclipsing the 100-point mark while also surpassing Mario Lemieux’s rookie record for points in a single season. Crosby and Lemiuex actually started the season as teammates before an irregular heartbeat forced the Hall of Fame forward and current Penguins owner to retire. Crosby finished the season with 102 points, though it was fellow rookie Ovechkin who edged him in both the Calder Trophy voting and rookie scoring race, finishing with 106 points.