Crosby becomes youngest NHL player with two 100-point seasons

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored a milestone game-tying goal but was relegated to hearing the crowd roar for the game winner from the locker room.

Elias Says

Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby scored 102 points as a rookie last season and he reached the 100-point plateau this season when he scored the tying goal in the third period for the Penguins against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon. Crosby is the fifth player to score at least 100 points in each of his first two (or more) NHL seasons (and, yes, he was the youngest of the five to get a second 100-pointer).

Just think: only 11 more 100-point seasons and Crosby will tie Wayne Gretzky's NHL record of producing 13 straight 100-point seasons from the start of his career. Peter Stastny and Mario Lemieux each began the NHL careers with six straight 100-point seasons, and Mike Rogers had a three-year streak.

Elias Says

Colby Armstrong scored 1:19 into overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins came back from a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday.

Crosby had tied the game at 2 for his 100th point of the season with 13:04 to play, becoming the youngest player in NHL history with two 100-point seasons. But equipment problems sent him to the locker room after regulation.

"It sucks," Crosby said of having to miss overtime. "I have a lot of trust in the guys, but I want to be out there, especially in overtime ... and I'm just sitting there. It's hard just watching."

Armstrong made it a pleasant watch, however, by scoring his third overtime goal this season, tying a team record. Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which has come-from-behind in each of its past five victories.

Karel Rachunek and Matt Cullen scored for the Rangers, who have earned at least a point in each of their past six games.

"We came back, and [the players] showed a lot of character again," said Penguins assistant coach Andre Savard, who was running the team because Michel Therrien was attending his father's funeral. "They battled hard in the third period and overtime, and we did get the win. Obviously, we don't make it easy."

The win came in part because Maxime Talbot made a good play to keep the puck in the zone and got the puck to Armstrong, who took a wrist shot from the right boards that deflected off Rangers defenseman Marek Malik's stick and squeezed between goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the near post.

"Mark tried to make the right play and cut off the pass," Lundqvist said. "It's just unfortunate that it goes in the net. But it was not there where we made the mistake. We have to clear the puck before that."

Crosby, who had just missed making it back onto the ice for the start of the extra period, downplayed the significance of his 100th point. He came into the game with only two points in his past six games and two goals in his past 19 but still has a comfortable lead in the league scoring race.

"It's never something I think about," Crosby said of 100 points. "It's nice, for sure, but there's a lot of games left -- important ones -- and that's where my mind has been."

Pittsburgh has played in four consecutive games that were decided after the end of regulation. Heading into the contest, the Penguins had played in four shootouts in five games -- winning three, including March 1 against the Rangers.

Crosby, who does not turn 20 until August 7, scored his 28th of the season while on a power play three minutes after the Penguins cut the lead to 2-1. He also has 72 assists in 65 games this season.

The Rangers had been 21-3-4 when leading after two periods but blew their second two-goal, third-period lead to Pittsburgh in 10 days and missed an opportunity to move into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

"We had enough power plays [five] to put the game away," New York coach Tom Renney said. "As we didn't do that and became a bit frustrated, we overextended ourselves a little bit and took penalties ourselves. It comes down to our game and how we have to play."

Rachunek scored with 45 seconds to play in the opening period, and Cullen gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead 1:11 into the second after what looked like a soft wrist shot from just inside the blue line snuck past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for his 13th goal.

The Penguins began their comeback when Malkin cut the New York lead to 2-1 with a power-play goal 3:32 into the third period. Taking a pass from Ryan Whitney while above the right face-off circle, Malkin hesitated before firing a slap shot -- using Rachunek as a screen -- past Lundqvist.

"We played a little more desperate in the third period," said defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who assisted on both third-period goals.

That set the stage, again, for the overtime heroics of Armstrong, who has only seven goals in regulation this season but tied the likes of Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Crosby for most overtime winners in a season in team history.

"It feels pretty good, obviously, to get a winner there and cap a comeback," Armstrong said.

"But everyone knows we have to play better for 60 minutes."

Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr did not play after the second intermission because of a sore right leg that he injured in Thursday's win over the Islanders. After the game, he said he hopes to play Sunday against Carolina.

Game notes
Rangers C Ryan Hollweg took 14 shifts for 8:50 of ice time two days after taking a vicious hit to the face by the stick of the Islanders' Chris Simon. Simon is suspended indefinitely for the incident. ... The game attracted the 16th sellout in the Penguins' past 18 home games. The team announced Monday it was aggressively pursuing relocation after this season if plans for a new Pittsburgh arena are not finalized soon.