VIDEO: Penguins honor Sidney Crosby for recording 1,000th career point

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This past week Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby became the 86th player in league history to record 1,000 points in the NHL when he assisted on a Chris Kunitz goal in a win over the Winnipeg Jets. He is the 11th youngest player to reach the milestone, doing so at age 29 and making an already massive accomplishment that much more impressive when you consider the low scoring era he has played in.

Before Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins’ first home game since Crosby reached the 1,000 point mark on Thursday night, the team honored with a pre-game ceremony that included a golden stick and a plaque made out of the roof of the old Civic Arena, the building in Pittsburgh that Crosby played in for the first five years of his career.

Check out the ceremony in the video above.

This season Crosby is second in the NHL scoring race with 64 points in 51 games, trailing Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid by three points (McDavid has played in eight more games). Crosby also leads the league with 31 goals entering play on Sunday.

More: Sidney Crosby records 1,000th career point

PHT Morning Skate: A list of 110 players that helped Sidney Crosby hit the 1,000-point mark

Ben Bishop is the biggest name when it comes to goalies that are pending unrestricted free agents, but as The Hockey News points out, there are other useful players at that position that could find themselves on different teams next season. Chad Johnson, Brian Elliott, Ryan Miller, Steve Mason and Scott Darling could all be nice pickups if they don’t re-sign with their respective clubs before July 1st. (The Hockey News)

–Claude Julien is considered by many to be one of the best coaches in hockey, but that doesn’t mean he won’t face any challenges in his new adventure with the Montreal Canadiens. His biggest obstacle will be finding ways to win without being able to count on a strong two-way center like he did in Boston with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. (Vice Sports)

–Sabres forward Evander Kane scored a spectacular goal in last night’s 2-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–The Toronto Maple Leafs surprised many by being in playoff contention this late into the season, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. But thanks to some creative cap management, the Leafs could potentially be one of the teams that makes the biggest splash between now and the end of the month. (Sportsnet)

–Penguins captain Sidney Crosby hit the 10,00-point mark in yesterday’s win over the Winnipeg Jets. Crosby is in pretty elite company when it comes to points-per-game for players that have played a minimum of 500 games in the NHL:

–Speaking of Crosby’s latest accomplishment, the Penguins PR staff came up with a list of 110 different players that helped the Penguins captain hit the 1,000-point mark. To no one’s surprise, Evgeni Malkin leads the way, as he had a direct link to 262 of Crosby’s points. (BarDown)

–The Garden of Dreams foundation allowed a young New York Rangers fan to get the experience of a lifetime. Moshe Illouz became an honorary Rangers player five days. He answered questions from the media and got to skate with Henrik Lundqvist and the gang.

VIDEO: Sidney Crosby records 1,000th career point

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You can officially add Sidney Crosby to the NHL’s 1,000 point club.

With an assist on Chris Kunitz‘s first period goal on Thursday night, Crosby became the 86th player in NHL history to record his 1,000th career point.

He did it in his 757th regular season game.

You can see the play in the video above, and it was a pretty complete effort on Crosby’s part as he forced a turnover in the defensive zone and then set up Kunitz, a long-time regular on his line, for the goal.

It is just another milestone for Crosby in what has been an incredible career over the past decade. Since entering the NHL at the start of the 2005-06 season his 1,000 points are the second most in the NHL, trailing only the 1,017 that Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has recorded. Ovechkin has played in 139 more games during that stretch.

Crosby’s 1.32 points per game since entering the league are by far the most in the NHL.

Along with the 1,000 points he has also won two MVP awards, two scoring titles, a Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and captained the Penguins to two Stanley Cups.

So close: Sidney Crosby remains on the verge of 1,000 points

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 17, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Sidney Crosby will have to wait another day.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star and captain is up to 999 points in his NHL career, but he just couldn’t reach the 1,000-point mark in Tuesday’s game against the Canucks. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of chances. No. 87 was all over the Canucks, it seemed, whenever he touched the ice.

Crosby entered the game with 998 points, before adding an assist on Jake Guentzel‘s goal, which gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the third period.

The only thing standing between Crosby and reaching the milestone tonight was the play of goalie Ryan Miller.

Crosby had a plus-11 Corsi For rating in all situations. He had six shots on goal and was denied on a breakaway in the third period. Miller also robbed Guentzel with a spectacular arm save that denied Crosby of an assist in the first period.

The next chance for Crosby to achieve the feat is Thursday on home ice against the Winnipeg Jets.

Meanwhile, welcome back to the lineup, Evgeni Malkin.

After missing the last seven games with a lower-body injury, Malkin returned to the Penguins lineup and was immediately productive with a goal and an assist in Pittsburgh’s thorough 4-0 victory over the Canucks.

His night included this set-up on Phil Kessel‘s goal, which essentially put this game completely out of reach for Vancouver as Pittsburgh completely took over in the final period. Malkin showed incredible patience, letting Luca Sbisa slide by on the backcheck before calmly dishing the puck to Kessel for an easy goal.

It was noted this morning that Pittsburgh had gone 4-1-2 without Malkin, as injuries have tested the depth of the Penguins, particularly with their group of forwards.

“I think that getting him back just makes us that much more dangerous,” said Crosby of Malkin.

Conor Sheary seems to have found a home on Sidney Crosby’s line

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 18:  Conor Sheary #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates the puck against Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on January 18, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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Listed at only 5-7, 175 pounds, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary is the type of player that would have had a difficult time getting a real opportunity in the NHL a decade or two ago. Heck, even today as smaller, speedier, and more skilled forwards become more common throughout the league, there are still probably a handful of teams that would look at him and immediately decide he is too small and not physical enough to get a real shot, no matter how productive he has been at every level he has played at.

After getting a call-up to the Penguins in the middle of the 2015-16 season and playing his way into a regular spot in the lineup, Sheary has become one of the most productive players on the Penguins roster this season, while also appearing to be a perfect match alongside Sidney Crosby on the team’s top line.

Finding linemates for Crosby has always been a topic of discussion when it comes to the Penguins, and there always seems to be a similar recipe for what type of player works best: North-south, straight line players that can play with speed. For a few years Pascal Dupuis was a perfect match for what seemed to work best on Crosby’s wing, and you can see a lot of those same elements in Sheary’s game, especially when it comes to the speed and quickness flying up the wing.

It is showing up in the numbers.

When on the ice together this season the Penguins have outscored teams by a 15-6 margin when Crosby and Sheary are on the ice together and controlled more than 55 percent of the total shot attempts during 5-on-5 play. In recent games the Penguins have had Crosby skating between Sheary and Bryan Rust, a trio that has already scored 11 goals in only 164 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey this season (that is more than four goals per 60 minutes. Via Puckalytics).

After Sheary’s two-goal performance on Friday night in a 7-1 blowout win over the Carolina Hurricanes, he is now up to 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 38 games for the Penguins this season. Among the team’s forwards, that puts him in fourth in total points (ahead of notable forwards like Patrick Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino) even though he has missed seven games due to injury and is scoring at a rate that would be a 67-point pace over 82 games. Even more than the overall production is the consistency that has come with it as he has gone more than two consecutive games without recording a point just two times this season (more than three games only once; never more than four games).

Crosby is obviously a big part of this equation, but it would also be unfair to overlook Sheary’s contributions, especially when he has been just as productive this season averaging more than three points per 60 minutes (in an admittedly smaller sample size) in his 5-on-5 minutes without Crosby centering his line. He’s not just a good player for being undersized. He’s not just a good player because he is playing alongside Sidney Crosby. He is just … good.

For years the Penguins were a top-heavy team that relied entirely on the core players (Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang) to almost single handedly carry them as far as they could. They lacked the younger, complementary players that could provide the type of depth needed to be a true Stanley Cup contender. That all started to change last season with a couple of key in-season trades (Hagelin, specifically) and a number of call-ups from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Sheary, once an undrafted free agent that was passed over by every team in the league (including the Penguins) multiple times that has now found a home on the team’s top-line next to the league’s best player, has turned out to be one of the most important.