Penguins notebook: Crosby hits another milestone, climbing over 700-point mark


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TAMPA, Fla. -- Assists on each of the Penguins' goals Friday in the 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning gave center Sidney Crosby his 699th, 700th and 701st NHL points.

"It's nice, and, when you can win in the same game, it's even better," Crosby said of his latest milestone. "You don't really think about those things, but, when they do happen, I think you appreciate it."

No. 700 came on Brandon Sutter's goal at 8:27 of the third period to cap a power play.

"It's an amazing number," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "When we scored the power-play goal, we immediately knew on the bench that it was his 700th.

"It is amazing how often and how fast he has been on that score sheet. It didn't take him long to get to 701, too."

Crosby also assisted on linemate Chris Kunitz's first-period goal and on Kunitz's empty-net goal in the third, while becoming the third player in franchise history to reach 700 points. He joins Hall of Famer and now team owner Mario Lemieux, who had 1,723 points, and Jaromir Jagr, who had 1,079 going into New Jersey's game Friday against Carolina.

Crosby, who recently got his 250th career goal and is about to reach 500 games, became the fastest active player to get his 700th point (497 games). The other six active players with more than 700 points are Anaheim's Teemu Selanne, who reached that in 541 games, Jagr (557), Washington's Alex Ovechkin (579), Minnesota's Dany Heatley (685), Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk (706) and San Jose's Joe Thornton (739).

"We all know how productive they've been and how long they've played," Crosby said of that group, and then smiled. "I'd be pretty excited if I could say now that I'm going to play that long ..."

Rare penalty call

The first penalty in the game was an unusual one.

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was carrying the puck over the blue line when he was cited for having the back of his jersey tucked into the top of his hockey pants.

That is a new wrinkle in rules pertaining to player equipment that was instituted for this season.

Bylsma confirmed that, as per the rules, Malkin was first given a warning, but he thought the officials were a little extra zealous in calling the penalty, which came at 7:11 of the first period.

"The referee was looking for it," Bylsma said.

The penalty falls under "illegal equipment," and was announced as a delay-of-game infraction.

Crosby agreed with Bylsma -- "Sometimes, they're looking for it a little bit more, especially after giving him a warning," Crosby said -- but the Penguins contend that Lightning forward Alex Killorn also was warned about the same thing but not later penalized.

Crosby suggested that dissatisfaction with the call against Malkin led to discontent that simmered until the end of the game.

"I think that's why guys were a little fired up at the end," Crosby said. "The other guy got two warnings on their team. It's a little thing you don't see much, but we know for next time."

Tip-ins

Before the game, Bylsma hinted at possible lineup changes because of "bumps and bruises," but the scratches were defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and forward Zach Sill, the same as the previous game. ... Kunitz's first-period goal was just the fourth first-period goal allowed at home by the Lightning.


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.

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