Skip to main content

Crosby top star in Madison Square Garden debut @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - Like a true Broadway star, rookie Sidney Crosby stole the spotlight.

And he took it from Mark Messier in Madison Square Garden, no less.

"I didn't mean to do that," the 18-year-old phenom said.

Crosby's first game in New York City produced his first goal in the Big Apple. That helped the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Monday night and move out of last place in the Atlantic Division.

Moments before Crosby scored his fifth NHL goal in his 15th game, the fans stood and cheered when Messier, the Rangers' former longtime captain, was shown on the center ice scoreboard in his first appearance at the arena since his retirement in September.

"Oh yeah, I noticed it. Everyone was standing up," said Crosby, who was 6 when Messier led the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup. "He's a great player. I watched that playoff run."

Crosby's latest score left him just 689 goals behind Messier, seventh on the NHL's career list.

Penguins captain-owner Mario Lemieux also scored a goal, moving him closer to Messier in the record book. Lemieux's sixth of the season gave Pittsburgh a rare early lead and moved him within five goals of Messier's total of 694. Lemieux made it 1-0 at 15:20 of the first period.

In other NHL games, it was Dallas 4, Edmonton 0; and Calgary 4, Vancouver 3.

After starting the season with nine consecutive losses - five in overtime - the Penguins jumped over the New York Islanders into fourth place in the Atlantic Division.

Crosby has three goals and two assists through the first four games of the Penguins' longest road trip of the season. And it's no surprise Pittsburgh is 3-1 with one game left.

"Every game he gets better," Lemieux said after Crosby was chosen as the game's first star. "That's amazing that he just turned 18 and he's our best player night in and night out. It's incredible."

Ziggy Palffy also scored, and Sebastien Caron made 35 saves in his sixth straight start for the Penguins (4-6-5), who rebounded from a 6-3 loss at Boston on Saturday. Lemieux has 61 goals and 71 assists in 68 games against the Rangers. Crosby's goal brought a wide smile to his face.

"I know he was looking forward to playing here in this building," the 40-year-old Lemieux said. "For him to get a goal in his first game is special."

Ryan Hollweg broke up Caron's shutout bid at 6:51 of the third period with his first NHL goal and Marcel Hossa got the Rangers to 3-2 with 6:24 left. But despite 13 third-period shots and a late power play, the Atlantic leaders had a two-game winning streak snapped.

"It's tough when you try to pull the rabbit out of the hat at the last minute," said Kevin Weekes, who made 21 saves. "It was not the start that we would have liked, but the fact that we hung in there and gave a valiant effort says a lot about our team."

Jaromir Jagr's 12-game point streak was also ended by his former club.

"We had some chances, but we didn't play well," Jagr said. "We couldn't play the way we wanted to."

At Dallas, Marty Turco made 16 saves for his 22nd career shutout and Junior Lessard scored his first NHL goal as the host Stars ended Edmonton's five-game winning streak.

Mike Modano and Stephane Robidas each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who have won three straight by a combined score of 16-3.

Jussi Jokinen added a power-play goal for the Stars.

Edmonton, which had won in its previous two trips to Dallas, is 8-34-4-1 all-time on the road in the regular season against the Stars.

At Calgary, Alberta, rookie defenseman Dion Phaneuf scored on a two-man advantage with 2:20 left in the third period to lead the Flames.

Jarome Iginla, Roman Hamrlik, and Chuck Kobasew also scored for the Flames (8-7-2), who posted their second home victory over their Northwest Division rivals in three nights. Steve Reinprecht added three assists.

Markus Naslund scored two goals and Todd Bertuzzi had his first goal in 10 games for the Canucks (10-4-2), who are 0-3-1 in their last four road games.

View More