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Crosby hits milestone, nets winner

The Associated Press

The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby holds the puck honoring his 1,000th NHL point after Thursday’s game against the Jets.

The Associated PressPITTSBURGH (AP) — It was, in many ways, Sidney Crosby’s remarkable career distilled to its essence. Game on the line. A wide-open net. A race to the puck. These are the moments the Pittsburgh Penguins star embraces as well as anyone in his sport.

Of course he beat Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele to the crease. Of course he poked the puck over the goal line with 21 seconds left in overtime to give the Penguins a 4-3 victory on Thursday night. Of course he provided the exclamation point on the same night he became the 86th player in league history to reach 1,000 career points.

“It’s nice to win the game when you have a memorable night like this,” Crosby said. “You want to finish it the right way.”

Something Crosby has done again and again. The two-time MVP and Stanley Cup winner reached 1,000 points in 757 games. Only 11 players got there faster. None of them are playing anymore. Crosby is. Spectacularly.

Crosby finished with a goal and two assists to give him 1,002 in his career and 64 on the season, which also happens to be tops in the NHL. Same as it ever was for the 29-year-old who remains very much in the thick of his prime.

“The fact he scores the game winner is apropos, given he gets the 1,000th point in the game,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think the sky’s the limit for Sid. I think he’s that good of a player.”

One who got to 1,000 with an assist on Chris Kunitz’s first-period goal, began the march to the next thousand when he helped set up Phil Kessel’s game-tying goal in the third, and then capped it by getting to Evgeni Malkin’s centering pass a half-step before Scheifele.

Malkin also scored for Pittsburgh, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 44 shots for the Penguins, who improved to 6-0-2 since the All-Star break.

Vermette hit with 10-game ban

NEW YORK (AP) — Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette was suspended for 10 games without pay Thursday for slashing a linesman in apparent anger after a faceoff.

Vermette slapped his stick against the back of linesman Shandor Alphonso’s legs after losing a faceoff to Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu during the third period of the Ducks’ 1-0 win Tuesday.

Two days later, the NHL issued the automatic 10-game ban under league rules for applying physical force to an official without intent to injure. Vermette, who will lose $97,222.22 in salary, had never previously been fined or suspended during his 13 seasons.Speech

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