PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby scored twice during a four-point night to extend his scoring streak to 25 games, and the Penguins beat the Thrashers 6-3 on Tuesday.
Crosby twice answered Atlanta goals by scoring in the first period, then set up Chris Kunitz's goal 9 seconds into the third period and another by Matt Cooke. Craig Adams scored shorthanded for Pittsburgh, which has won 16 of 19.
Crosby, who will try to extend his streak against the Islanders tonight, is the first player to have a streak this long since Penguins co-owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux's 28-game run to begin the 1995-96 season, STATS LLC said.
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. Lemieux had a Penguins-record 46-game streak in 1989-90.
Crosby's assist on Cooke's goal at first looked like his goal, which would have given him a hat trick.
On a delayed penalty, Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek moved the puck to Crosby, who had jumped on the ice as an extra attacker. From the top of the slot, Crosby cranked a slap shot that appeared to get by the blocker of goalie Ondrej Pavelec, and hats littered the ice.
But the puck hit the stick of Cooke, who deflected it by Pavelec. Cooke said that when he saw the hats, he immediately asked Crosby if he wanted to claim the goal. Crosby declined.
Game highlights: Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season, the host Capitals' 3-0 win over the Canadiens. Washington is 4-0-1 since an eight-game losing streak. Montreal is in the midst of a seven-game road trip, its longest this season. It has lost four of the first five games on the trip. The Canadiens play the Lightning on Thursday. … Blackhawks leading scorer and captain Jonathan Toews was injured in the first period against the Blues and didn't return. It wasn't clear when Toews was hurt. The Blackhawks said Toews had an upper-body injury.
All-Star voting: With fan balloting ending Monday, Sidney Crosby remained the overall leader, and still behind him in the forward voting at Nos. 2-4 were Jonathan Toews, the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin and the Lightning's Steven Stamkos. Still Nos. 1-2 among defensemen were the Penguins' Kris Letang and the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith. Taking over the top goalie spot from the Canadiens' Carey Price was the Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury. The top three forwards, two defensemen and goaltender when voting ends are guaranteed spots in the Jan. 30 game at Raleigh, N.C. The NHL's Hockey Operations Department will select 36 more players for the game. All the players will select two captains for each team, and the captains will draft their teams from the remaining players. Voting can be done at NHL.com, through the league's Facebook page and by texting a player's last name to 81812 through Jan. 3.
Canadiens: Montreal shored up its defense, acquiring James Wisniewski from the Islanders for a pair of draft picks. Wisniewski is scheduled to join the team today in Tampa for Thursday's game against the Lightning.
Flames: With his team's record among the worst in the Western Conference, Darryl Sutter resigned as general manager after seven years. Assistant GM Jay Feaster was named acting GM. Feaster, who joined the Flames in July, was the Lightning's GM from 2002-08, a tenure that included the 2003-04 Stanley Cup season. He was forced to resign in July 2008, a casualty of the sale of the team from Palace Sports & Entertainment to Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
First Period—1, Atlanta, Kane 12 (Little, Burmistrov), :47. 2, Pittsburgh, Crosby 31 (Letang), 10:34 (pp). 3, Atlanta, Byfuglien 14 (Enstrom, Little), 15:18 (pp). 4, Pittsburgh, Crosby 32 (Goligoski), 18:34. Penalties—Modin, Atl (interference), 2:02; Enstrom, Atl (hooking), 10:10; Malkin, Pit (hooking), 12:44; Cooke, Pit (kneeing), 14:29; Goligoski, Pit (hooking), 16:04.
Second Period—5, Pittsburgh, Adams 2 (Cooke), 11:38 (sh). Penalties—Eager, Atl (slashing), 7:41; Asham, Pit (slashing), 7:41; Orpik, Pit (high-sticking), 11:01; Atlanta bench, served by Stewart (too many men), 15:38.
Third Period—6, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 10 (Crosby, Dupuis), :09. 7, Pittsburgh, Letestu 8, 13:00. 8, Pittsburgh, Cooke 8 (Crosby, Michalek), 16:16. 9, Atlanta, Boulton 5 (Slater, Thorburn), 16:51. Penalties—Cooke, Pit (hooking), 1:34; Letang, Pit (delay of game), 2:20; Cooke, Pit (hooking), 7:19; Dupuis, Pit (holding), 13:57. Shots on Goal—Atlanta 15-5-14—34. Pittsburgh 11-16-9—36. Power-play opportunities—Atlanta 1 of 8; Pittsburgh 1 of 3. Goalies—Atlanta, Pavelec 12-8-4 (36 shots-30 saves). Pittsburgh, Fleury 17-8-1 (34-31). A—18,322 (18,087).
First Period—1, Washington, Beagle 2 (Fehr, Hendricks), 16:20. 2, Washington, Green 7 (Backstrom), 19:22. Penalties—Hendricks, Was (boarding), :23; Carlson, Was (high-sticking), 4:43; Picard, Mon (tripping), 7:32; Pouliot, Mon (roughing), 13:19; Moen, Mon (boarding), 19:45.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Plekanec, Mon (slashing), 3:51; Pacioretty, Mon (roughing), 7:30; Fehr, Was (roughing), 7:30; Montreal bench, served by Eller (too many men), 12:58; Semin, Was (hooking), 14:59.
Third Period—3, Washington, Ovechkin 14 (Alzner), 19:28 (en). Penalties—Hamrlik, Mon (slashing), :21; Erskine, Was (interference), 3:52; Plekanec, Mon, double minor (high-sticking), 4:19; Hannan, Was (interference), 8:49. Shots on Goal—Montreal 9-10-6—25. Washington 10-11-9—30. Power-play opportunities—Montreal 0 of 5; Washington 0 of 8. Goalies—Montreal, Price 19-13-2 (29 shots-27 saves). Washington, Varlamov 6-4-1 (25-25). A—18,398 (18,398).
First Period—1, Carolina, Skinner 9 (Jokinen, Ruutu), 7:34. 2, Toronto, Kessel 13 (Kaberle, Phaneuf), 11:48 (pp). 3, Carolina, E.Staal 17, 14:08. 4, Toronto, Kessel 14 (Crabb, Bozak), 15:30. 5, Carolina, E.Staal 18 (Samsonov, Dwyer), 19:50 (pp). Penalties—E.Staal, Car, double minor (high-sticking), 9:12; Pitkanen, Car (delay of game), 11:28; Crabb, Tor (hooking), 17:52.
Second Period—6, Toronto, Grabovski 13 (Versteeg, Kaberle), 8:17 (pp). Penalties—McBain, Car (tripping), 7:39; Pitkanen, Car (interference), 9:39; McBain, Car (tripping), 15:45.
Third Period—7, Carolina, Dwyer 6 (Gleason, Boychuk), 14:49. Penalties—Kaberle, Tor (holding), 5:38; MacArthur, Tor (interference), 11:46; Boychuk, Car (hooking), 16:15; E.Staal, Car (cross-checking), 19:28; Grabovski, Tor (roughing, roughing), 20:00. Shots on Goal—Carolina 8-7-12—27. Toronto 11-14-12—37. Power-play opportunities—Carolina 1 of 3; Toronto 2 of 8. Goalies—Carolina, Ward 15-11-3 (37 shots-34 saves). Toronto, Gustavsson 5-11-2 (27-23). A—19,309 (18,819).