Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 4-3 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena.
*The Pens may have defeated the Jets, 4-3, but the story of this game is obviously captain Sidney Crosby reaching the 1,000-point mark in his career with a first-period assist on a Chris Kunitz goal.
There is plenty of coverage of this memorable night for Crosby, so if you want to read our extensive coverage please click here.
But that being said, it was a historic moment and incredible accomplishment. The hometown crowd was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime event and the captain, as he typically does, delivered.
The crowd erupted and gave Crosby a lengthy standing ovation, to which he returned an appreciative salute with a raised stick.
*Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made his first home start since Jan. 8 and he continued his recent run of home success. Fleury made 44 saves to improve to 27-5-2 in his last 34 home decisions.
Fleury was at his best in the first period while flashing the glove. First he snagged a shot by Blake Wheeler from the circle while the Jets were on a power play. Late in the opening frame he made a demonstrative 360 degree catch of a hard snap shot by rookie sensation Patrik Laine coming down the center lane. Fleury made an aggressive poke check on a Nikolaj Ehlers breakaway late in the third period to keep it a 3-3 game. He made one final dramatic stop on Ehlers on a breakaway in overtime to salvage the victory.
*The fans certainly got their moneys worth. Pittsburgh tied the game late in the 3rd period with a Phil Kessel power-play snipe. Then Evgeni Malkin deked through a Jets defender to setup Crosby for the game-winner in OT. It was a dramatic finish and the perfect end to a perfect night.
*The Jets like to play a heavy game and really lay out the body. The Pens were the victims of a few solid hits. Three Pens' players had to leave the game following such collisions: Justin Schultz, Carter Rowney and Olli Maatta. Though Rowney returned, Pittsburgh had to play half of the game with just 4 blueliners.
*Speaking of those 4 blueliners, they did a fabulous job in a tough circumstance. Of course, it helps when you have Kris Letang. The Pens' top D-man shouldered the bulk of the load with 31:07 minutes of ice time. The group banded together well with short shifts and help preserve the victory.
*Also, there was another milestone tonight lost in the shuffle of Crosby's 1,000th point. That would be Letang's 600th career game. Congratulations Kris.