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game recap

Sidney Crosby gets 1,000th NHL point in Penguins win

Reaches milestone in first period, scores with 21.1 seconds left in overtime against Jets

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby got his 1,000th NHL point and scored in overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

Crosby beat goalie Connor Hellebuyck with a wrist shot for his 1,002nd with 21.1 seconds left in overtime.

"He's a tremendous player," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "The fact that he scored 1,000 points in [757] games that he has, I think is just a testament to the player that he is and the character of the person. He's an ultra-competitive guy. He loves to win."


WATCH: All Jets vs. Penguins highlights


After Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 59 seconds into the first period, Crosby got his 1,000th point when he set up Chris Kunitz to make it 2-0 at 6:28. Crosby tipped the puck away from Winnipeg forward Blake Wheeler in the crease before fighting him off in the left faceoff circle and passing to Kunitz, who one-timed a shot past Hellebuyck.

Crosby became the 86th player in NHL history and 12th fastest to reach 1,000. He has 369 goals and 633 assists to achieve the milestone in six fewer games than it took Jaromir Jagr with the Penguins.

"I was hovering around it for a while, so it's nice to get it and nice to get a win," Crosby said. "You get that early and you want to make sure you win the game. … We hung in there and found a way to get it."

Video: WPG@PIT: Crosby sets up Kunitz for 1,000th point

Pittsburgh (36-13-7, 79 points) is two points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division.

Following the Kunitz goal, Jets rookie forward Patrik Laine scored with 2:50 remaining in the second period to cut the Penguins lead to 2-1, and Paul Postma tied it 2-2 on a slap shot at 4:22 of the third.

Laine has 27 goals, four behind Crosby for the NHL lead.

"I'm proud of every guy who battled out there," Laine said. "I think we played well and maybe would have deserved to win, but we had our chances and couldn't score. So, it's one point for us."

Dustin Byfuglien wrapped a shot around the left post and past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Jets a 3-2 lead at 8:24 of the third, but Phil Kessel tied it 3-3 on a power play with 6:05 remaining.

Video: WPG@PIT: Byfuglien scores go-ahead goal on wraparound

Crosby assisted on Kessel's goal.

Winnipeg (26-29-5, 57 points) is four points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"It was a real good battle," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "Really, really hard-fought game."

Fleury made 44 saves in his first home start since Jan. 8, and Hellebuyck had 35.

The Penguins played with four defensemen after Justin Schultz and Olli Maatta were injured in the second period. Sullivan did not provide an update on either player following the game.

Video: WPG@PIT: Fleury denies Ehlers on breakaway in OT


Goal of the game

Malkin fought through defenseman Jacob Trouba to the crease, slid the puck through Trouba's legs and backhanded a pass to Crosby while falling forward. Crosby leaned into Jets center Mark Scheifele and tapped a shot into the open left side of the net.

Video: WPG@PIT: Malkin, Crosby combine for slick OT winner


Save of the game

Fleury maintained a 2-1 lead for the Penguins after he lost an edge and fell while Scheifele made his way around defenseman Kris Letang and shot toward the right side of the net. Fleury raised his left pad to kick the shot into the air before Trouba unsuccessfully attempted to bat it into the net. The puck fell into the crease, where Fleury scrambled to cover it with 53.2 seconds remaining in the second period.

Video: WPG@PIT: Fleury robs Scheifele with a great kick save


Highlight of the game

Scheifele passed to Mathieu Perreault from behind the net before Perreault moved it on to Laine, who sent a wrist shot past a diving Fleury.

Video: WPG@PIT: Laine buries Perreault's nice feed


Unsung performance of the game

After Schultz and Maatta each left, Pittsburgh's remaining four defensemen had their minutes increased. This particularly impacted Letang, who played a season-high 31:07 and had three assists, three hits, and four blocked shots in his 600th NHL game.

Video: WPG@PIT: Kessel picks the corner for game-tying PPG


They said it

"I try to enjoy it. It was nice. It was a good feeling. Hopefully, there will be a bit more." -- Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on starting at home


"At the end of the day, we're 20 seconds away from a shootout. I like my odds in a shootout." -- Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck


Need to know

Crosby (29 years, 193 days) became the second youngest active player to reach 1,000 NHL points, behind Jagr (28 years, 319 days). … Mario Lemieux reached 1,000 in his 513th game, fastest in Penguins history. Wayne Gretzky holds the League record at 424 games. … Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom had surgery Thursday morning. He is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury. … Kunitz's goal was his 250th in 863 NHL games.


What's next

Jets: At the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, SN, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, FS-O, ROOT, NHL.TV)


Video: Crosby records 1,000th point, nets winner in OT

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