Perhaps it was fitting that Malkin was represented in Crosby's goal, as the two superstars have been at the forefront of a franchise resurgence, leading the Penguins to three Stanley Cup titles since the two entered the league.
"You look back at different things over the last 17 years, and that's a memory I'll always hold close," Crosby said. "With Geno assisting, with it being at home against Philadelphia, knowing the history of those two teams -- and getting the win at the end -- changes the whole dynamic."
As the goal horn sounded around the PPG Paints Arena, the entire Penguins team joined Crosby in celebration along the sideboards next to Flyers goaltender Carter Hart.
"Knowing Sid, the type of person he is, he wanted his teammates around him," Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. "I think he wanted to remember that goal with everyone out there on the ice with him."
The goal was Crosby's 14th of the season, and not long after the tally, the Penguins tweeted out a video from owner Mario Lemieux, the only other player in franchise history to get to 500. Lemieux, who led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup titles in the 1990s, finished his career with 690 goals.
"I've been able to witness most of them," Lemieux said of Crosby's tallies. "And I'm sure there will be plenty more in the future."
Crosby, who led the Penguins to a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, played a shift at the end of that game with an open net on the other end of the ice, but never got a shot off, setting the stage for the feat on home ice against one of the franchise's fiercest rivals.
The goal was Crosby's 50th against the Flyers, and it helped the Penguins secure an eighth-straight victory. The midseason rally, after a topsy-turvy start to the campaign, has the Penguins in first place in the Metropolitan Division.
"Wish he did it against somebody else, or at least we got the win," Philadelphia interim coach Mike Yeo said. "Knowing him the way I do, it's hard to sit here and say I'm happy for him, but he's an incredible player."
Crosby, 34, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, has only played for the Penguins in his career, and though he's battled injuries this season, he appears at the top of his game. Tuesday was his 38th game of the season, and with an assist later in the third period, he now has 45 points and is averaging nearly 20 minutes time on the ice.
His career high in goals came in the 2009-10 season, when he finished with 51, and he's topped 30 goals nine times.
"It's hard to put into words. Just being able to be part of some great teams over the years, play with some great players, it's a cool number," Crosby said of reaching 500. "You look at the guys who have scored, it's a privilege to be part of that company."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.