The Penguins' captain scored a goal and an assist in regulation and then got the clinching tally in the shootout to help Pittsburgh snap a four-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust also scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray stopped 30 shots for his 29th victory of the season. With the win, the Penguins eclipsed their point total last season, when they won the Stanly Cup.
"We're happy to get two points," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "The Rangers are a good team and they scored late in the game. I thought our guys stuck with it, and they didn't get deflated. We kept playing hard and we found a way to win. Obviously, we would have like to finish it in regulation if we could've, but it didn't happen that way. You have to give the Rangers credit, they played hard, they're a good team, but we're pleased to get the two points."
Chris Kreider tied the score with 11.6 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. Nick Holden had a goal and an assist, Rick Nash also scored and J.T. Miller added two assists for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves as New York fell to 0-5-3 at home since beating Washington on Feb. 19.
"There is no point in worrying about it," Murray said calmly about the late equalizer. "You just move forward, once it's in the net. You can't take it out, so you just move on."
The Penguins improved to 5-1-2 in their past eight road games and secured a winning record away from home for the 11th consecutive season.
Guentzel, back after missing the previous four games with a concussion, had a power-play goal to open up the scoring 39 seconds into the second period. Crosby assisted on the play.
"He's a special player," Guentzel said of Crosby. "Getting the chance to play with him is pretty fun."
Crosby passed Jaromir Jagr to claim sole possession of second place on Pittsburgh's all-time assists list with 641.
"It's nice, he's probably got 1,000 more points than me overall," Crosby said jokingly after being informed he passed the 45-year old Jagr. "He did a lot for this team, had a lot of success. It's nice, but he is way ahead of me."
Lundqvist, winless in his first three appearances after missing eight games with a hip strain earlier this month, looked sharp early on as he stopped all 15 shots in the first period.
"He (Lundqvist) was by far our best player," Nash said. "I thought the score could have gotten out of control for a little stretch."
Crosby banked a shot off Lundqvist's mask from behind the goal line early in the second period to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead with his league-leading 43rd goal.
"Yea, he surprised me," Lundqvist said about the goal. "Not many guys think of shooting at your head from there, but he (Crosby) did. . Give him credit."
Holden's power-play goal with 27 seconds left in the middle frame pulled the Rangers within one with his career-high 11th of the season.
Rust got his 14th of the year 6:46 into the third to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. Ian Cole picked up his 21st assist on the score.
Nash pulled the Rangers back within one just 2:14 later, scoring his 23rd of the season.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh did not play and missed his second contest of the season. Before the game, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it was "nothing serious."
The Penguins and Rangers will meet again in the regular-season finale April 9 at Madison Square Garden.
Holden participated in his 299th career NHL game and is one of four Rangers skaters to have played in every game of the season. ... Rangers F Jimmy Vesey was a healthy scratch and missed his second game of the season. ... The Rangers scratched D Adam Clendening, F Tanner Glass, D Steven Kampfer and F Brandon Pirri. ... Penguins D Ron Hainsey returned to the lineup after missing the previous seven games. ... Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin missed his eighth consecutive game with a shoulder injury. ... Penguins F Carl Hagelin did not play for the 11th straight game due to a lower-body injury.
Penguins: Host Carolina on Sunday.
Rangers: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.