PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Sidney Crosby scored twice during a four-point night to extend his scoring streak to 25 games, and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their final home game before the Winter Classic by beating the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3 on Tuesday.
Crosby twice answered Thrashers goals by scoring in the first period, then set up Chris Kunitz’s goal nine seconds into the third period and another by Matt Cooke. Craig Adams also scored short-handed for Pittsburgh, which has won 16 of 19.
Crosby, who will try to extend his streak against the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, is the first NHL player to have a streak this long since Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux’s 28-game run to begin the 1995-96 season, according to STATS LLC.
The Penguins captain, peaking just as the NHL’s midseason outdoor game against Washington approaches on Saturday, continues to torment the Thrashers, who have lost their last nine in Pittsburgh.
Crosby has six goals and four assists in three games against Atlanta this season, including his first natural hat trick during a 3-2 victory in Pittsburgh on Dec. 2.
Crosby, the NHL scoring leader, has 26 goals and 23 assists during his streak and 32 goals and 33 assists for the season. He has at least one goal in five consecutive games.
Wayne Gretzky (1990-91), Bryan Trottier (1981-82), Brett Hull (1991-92) and Bernie Nicholls (1984-85) also had 25 game streaks. The NHL record is Gretzky’s 51-game run in 1983-84, during a more wide-open era in which he averaged three points per game during his streak. Lemieux had a team-record, 46-game streak in 1989-90.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Mark Recchi scored a power-play goal with 19.7 seconds left in the third period to lift Boston past Tampa Bay.
Recchi’s goal from the slot was his seventh this season and 570th overall in the NHL. The goal came while Lightning star Steven Stamkos was serving a boarding penalty.
Boston also got goals from Michael Ryder, Steven Kampfer and Brad Marchand. Boston came off a 3-2 shootout win Monday night at Florida.
Stamkos scored his 29th goal of the season for Tampa Bay, which is 6-1-2 over the last nine games. Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis had the other Lightning goals.
WASHINGTON (AP)—Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves, and Alex Ovechkin was one of three goal scorers for Washington in a victory over Montreal.
Jay Beagle and Mike Green scored late in the first period. Beagle connected with a spinning, backhander with 3:40 remaining, and Green made it 2-0 with 37.5 seconds left.
Ovechkin sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.
Varlamov posted his second shutout this season, making a bunch of strong stops early as Montreal recorded the first six shots in the opening seven minutes. The Capitals have posted three shutout wins.
Washington is 4-0-1 since an eight-game losing streak. The Capitals have given up only 12 goals in seven games.
VANCOUVER (AP)—Ryan Kesler scored twice early in the second period and added an assist in the third as Vancouver beat Philadelphia.
Kesler fired in a wrist shot from the top of the circle 56 seconds into the middle period, and added his second goal on a nifty power play deflection less than five minutes later to chase goalie Brian Boucher.
Jeff Tambellini had a goal, Manny Malhotra scored late in the first period, Daniel Sedin added a goal in between Kesler’s two, and Jannik Hansen scored early in the third as Vancouver beat the Flyers at home for the first time since 1989.
Danny Briere and Jeff Carter, on a late power play, scored for Philadelphia, which was 10-0-4 in Vancouver since that loss.
Henrik Sedin had three assists, and Roberto Luongo finished with 35 saves for the Canucks, who are 12-1-2 in their last 15.
EDMONTON (AP)—Sabres defenceman Mike Weber scored his first two NHL goals and Ryan Miller made 29 saves as Buffalo won for the second time in nine road games.
Weber also had an assist after having only four in his first 39 NHL games.
Luke Adam and Jochen Hecht also scored for the Sabres, who also snapped a two-game skid.
Dustin Penner and Ryan Jones scored for Edmonton, which has dropped four straight and six of seven.
TORONTO (AP)—Patrick Dwyer scored the winner with just over five minutes remaining, and Eric Staal had two goals in Carolina’s victory over Toronto.
Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Cam Ward stopped 34 shots.
Phil Kessel scored twice and Mikhail Grabovski added a goal for Toronto. Jonas Gustavsson made 23 saves.
The Maple Leafs worked hard under tough circumstances after being stuck on a bus in a winter storm for five hours Sunday following a victory in New Jersey. The team didn’t arrive in Toronto until Tuesday morning.
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Ty Conklin shut down a team that burned him for seven goals last month, stopping 25 shots in St. Louis’ victory over Chicago.
Vladimir Sobotka, Brad Boyes and Brad Winchester scored for the Blues, who dominated much of the way to win their fourth in a row and end the Blackhawks’ four-game winning streak. Matt D’Agostini had two assists for the Blues, who pelted Marty Turco with 43 shots to make things a bit easier on their backup goalie.
Conklin surrendered seven goals on 24 shots in a loss at Chicago on Nov. 30, but he’s 3-0 at home this season.
Just as Chicago got Patrick Kane back in the lineup after he missed eight games because of an ankle injury, the Blackhawks lost another key player.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago’s second-leading scorer with 33 points, was injured on a check in the first period and didn’t return. Teammate Tomas Kopecky was struck in the face by an errant puck despite wearing a visor but didn’t leave the bench.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Loui Eriksson scored a goal and added an assist, and Andrew Raycroft made 44 saves as Dallas sent Nashville to its fifth straight loss.
Steve Ott, Mark Fistric and Krystofer Barch also scored for Dallas.
Colin Wilson scored two goals for Nashville in a span of 1:32.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Corey Perry scored his team-leading 20th goal and Jonas Hiller made 31 saves to lead Anaheim past Phoenix.
Luca Sbisa and Joffrey Lupul also scored for the Ducks, who won for the second time in six games.
Shane Doan scored a power-play goal for the Coyotes, who have lost three of four.
The Coyotes played their first home game since the Glendale City Council approved a new arena lease. That cleared the way for the team to be purchased from the NHL. The game drew a crowd of 14,032, the largest this season for a weeknight home game.
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, playing for the first time after missing five games with an undisclosed upper body injury, was shaky early. He allowed three goals on the first nine shots he faced.