That was the case in how Crosby helped the Penguins rally to a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. Crosby finished with a goal and two assists, including setting up defenseman Paul Martin's go-ahead goal with 2:04 remaining.
Accurate as Crosby's pass was in finding an open Martin in the high slot, the Penguins' captain acknowledged he wasn't looking to set up his teammate.
"Honestly, the puck was poked off my stick," said Crosby, who had dug the puck out of the corner of the Sabres zone and was attempting to skate into the middle. The Penguins got another break when Martin's shot deflected in off Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and past goalie Ryan Miller, who was screened.
What's not a fluke is Crosby in the familiar position of being among the NHL points leaders a month into the season.
With 24 points (seven goals and 17 assists), Crosby ranks second following a 10-game surge, in which he has four goals and 14 assists (see full recap).
It was the only time New York's struggling power-play unit connected in the game, but it came at the perfect time and helped snap the Capitals' season-high winning streak at three games.
Washington, which lost to New York in the second round of last year's playoffs, had been 11-5-2 in its last 18 regular-season games against the Rangers. New York improved to 5-1-1 in its past seven.
Carl Hagelin tied it for the Rangers in the second period after defenseman John Carlson put Washington ahead in the first.
Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks (12-0-3), who matched the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the second-longest season-opening points streak in NHL history. Chicago is one away from the tying the league record set by Anaheim in 2006-07 and will try to match the mark on Tuesday when it hosts Vancouver (see full recap).