DETROIT — Penguins captain Sidney Crosby became the 15th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points, scoring two goals and adding an assist in Pittsburgh’s crucial 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
“This is a team sport,” Crosby said. “That’s what we signed up for and that’s why we love this game. Maybe you get certain milestones that get you to reflect a little more, but right now I’m just thinking about our situation and what we still need to do. I’m happy to have been a part of all of this, but my mentality has always been to try to be my best and take what happens from there.”
The Penguins are in danger of seeing a run of 16 straight Stanley Cup playoff berths come to an end. It’s the longest active streak among the major North American sports leagues.
Crosby has 550 goals and 950 assists and is the sixth-fastest player to hit the 1,500-point milestone, accomplishing it in his 1,188th game. The milestone came on a power-play goal at 3:01 of the third period, with Kris Letang and Jake Guentzel assisting.
“This is something only 15 players have ever done, and he’s the sixth-fastest of all of them,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think that company speaks to this milestone and to the impact he’s had on the game. Not only is he one of the greatest players of his generation, he’s one of the greatest players in history.”
David Perron, who played parts of two seasons with Crosby from 2014 to ’16, has seen it before.
“Incredibly impressive type of performance that he puts up at the right time,” Perron said. “That’s what he does. I’ve seen it on the other bench. He’s just a great guy, keeps working on his game. I ran into him at the All-Star break, we were at the same hotel. I got to spend some time with him. He just keeps working at it. He wants to keep getting better.”
Crosby became the 12th player in league history to reach 90 points in his age 35 season or older.
Alex Nylander, Danton Heinen and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the Penguins, who are fighting for one of the last playoff berths in the Eastern Conference with less than a week left in the regular season.
“Why I like these type of games, that’s a team fighting for their playoff lives and they played a really good game,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “We just had flashes of being good today but just some of our egregious mistakes ended up on the wrong players’ sticks and in the back of our net.”
Goaltender Tristan Jarry had 19 saves and improved to 3-0-0 in his career against the Red Wings.
Pius Suter scored for the Red Wings in the second period, his 14th of the season and one shy of his career best set last season. Detroit goalie Ville Husso finished with 23 saves.
Nylander, who was recalled from the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, opened the scoring at 9:25 of the first period. It was his first goal since scoring for the Chicago Blackhawks against the San Jose Sharks in March 2020.