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ARMSTRONG CONTINUES TO PROGRESS WITH PENGUINS

Monday, 03.13.2006 / 12:00 AM / Pittsburgh Penguins
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ARMSTRONG CONTINUES TO PROGRESS WITH PENGUINS

Here comes Colby.

Pittsburgh rookie Colby Armstrong is quickly establishing himself as yet another young gem in the Penguins’ organization.The gritty right winger scored both Penguins’ goals Sunday in a 2-0 shutout over the rival Flyers at Mellon Arena. The goals pushed his point streak to eight games. That ties Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and Boston’s Brad Boyes for the second-longest rookie point streak this season in the NHL. Armstrong’s teammate Sidney Crosby owns the longest – a 10-point spree.

“I think I am just playing the same, maybe just finding those spots where I can score goals,” Armstrong said. “Our line is keeping things simple along with every other line the last two games, which is why we’re doing well. We’re just getting pucks deep and attacking and coming with speed. We’re creating chances like that and it’s working.”

Armstrong has five goals and seven assists during his streak.

“I think I can chip in every once in a while. I am not a real big goal-scorer, I don’t think. Any chance I get, I will try to put it in the net, obviously,” he said. “With Sid, I will get plenty of chances. The team is keeping it simple and moving the pucks and getting them on net. It’s great to get a couple wins.”

Armstrong, a 2001 first-round pick (21st overall), plays on an all-rookie first line with Jani Rita and Crosby. The line has produced four goals in the last two games and Crosby and Armstrong have formed quality chemistry.

“Sid is going to create chances. The one thing you have to do with him is when you get the puck, you have to keep your feet moving and kind of play a give-and-go type game with him because he is always flying and always getting open,” Armstrong said. “He’s so dangerous at opening things up. Anytime you can get on a line with him, it’s a matter of getting open and finding spots and then working the little things with him and you’ll get your chances for sure.”

Armstrong has 23 points (9+14) in 30 games since his NHL debut on Dec. 29 against the Devils.

“I really like the way that he played [Sunday]. Right now, he fits in really well with Sid. They like to play together,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “He’s playing really well. He’s dependable on the ice. For a rookie, he’s playing on the power play, first line and killing penalties and this is only his first year in the NHL and we’ve given him a lot of responsibility. This is something that he’s used to because this is how he was brought up to the NHL. The way that we’re using him here is the way we used him in Wilkes-Barre, so this is not something different for him.”

 

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