‘Sid The Kid’ scores 600Sore nose and all, Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists to help Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 5-3 on Friday night, snapping the Penguins’ mini-slump and slowing the Sabres’ late-season surge.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sore nose and all, Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists to help Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 5-3 on Friday night, snapping the Penguins’ mini-slump and slowing the Sabres’ late-season surge.
It was Crosby’s third four-point game in a season in which concussion troubles have limited him to 18 games. And it came after he was held without a point in his past two outings and a day after his nose was bloodied by a puck in a 5-3 loss at the New York Islanders.
Steve Sullivan had a goal and two assists, Evgeni Malkin had a goal and assist, and Pascal Dupuis set up two to extend his points streak to an NHL season-best 13 games. Pittsburgh (48-24-6) rebounded from two straight losses to the Islanders and moved four points ahead of fifth-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Sabres (38-30-10) had a five-game winning streak snapped, and dropped into ninth place, behind the Washington Capitals. Both teams have four games left and 86 points, but the Capitals hold the tiebreaker edge.
The Sabres’ loss also allowed the idle Boston Bruins to clinch a playoff berth.
Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Jordan Leopold scored for the Sabres, who dropped to 14-3-4 in their past 21, and lost for the first time in regulation in 10 games (7-1-2).
The Sabres squandered a golden opportunity to at least earn a point in the final 2:21, when Malkin was penalized for delay of game after his clearing attempt sailed into the stands.
Vanek had two solid chances in front in the final 25 seconds, only to be turned away before Jordan Staal sealed the win by scoring into an empty net.
Crosby became the NHL’s seventh youngest player to reach the 600-point plateau, and he did it in the seventh-fewest games. Crosby now has 220 goals and 381 assists in 430 career games. At 24 years and 236 days, Crosby is the youngest player to hit the mark since Pierre Turgeon did it with the Islanders in 1994.