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Friday, December 3, 2010

Crosby scores 200th goal, lifts Pens over Flames


PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania: Sidney Crosby scored three goals - including the 200th of his career - to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-1 NHL victory on Saturday over Calgary.

The Canadian superstar reached a career milestone in impressive style, scoring all three goals in three different ways.

Crosby scored a power play goal and an even-strength goal before scoring short-handed into an empty net with 37 seconds remaining.

He had a chance at a penalty, but was denied by Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff's save less than five minutes into the game.

Had Crosby made that, it would have recalled Mario Lemieux's unique feat of scoring five goals in all five possible variations - even-strength, short-handed, power play, penalty and empty net - on December 31, 1988, against New Jersey.

While Crosby knew his accomplishment wouldn't have quite matched that of Lemieux, it was a let-down to come so close.

Crosby made it 2-0 in the second period after Chris Kunitz gathered his own rebound and slid it to an open Crosby at the side of the net. Crosby got his 200th career goal midway through the third when Paul Martin's shot from above the circles deflected off the toe of Crosby's stick on a power play.

Crosby, 23, completed his sixth regular-season hat trick and first this season by scoring into an empty net during a Flames power play in which Calgary created a two-man advantage by pulling Kiprusoff from goal.

"I think they got me the hat trick (puck), and the 200th one," said Crosby, who has 18 goals in 25 games. "I don't know which ones they got, but they made sure they had them all, with a couple milestones there."

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