Penguins’ Sidney Crosby completes astonishing feat that ends NHL’s 16-year drought

Sidney Crosby can’t stop breaking records.

Sydney Crosby with Penguins logo in the background and big text behind him "1000 Assists"

Sidney Crosby achieved two major milestones during Thursday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings: he became the 14th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 career assists and surpassed Phil Esposito, securing 10th place on the NHL’s all-time points list.

Pittsburgh boosted their playoff chances after clinching a 6-5 victory over Detroit on Thursday night. Erik Karlsson sealed the win with an overtime goal just 1:40 into the extra period, courtesy of an assist from Sidney Crosby who capped off his night with a goal and two assists.

Two weeks ago, Pittsburgh lagged nine points behind the playoff threshold. Thanks to Crosby and Alex Nedeljkovic’s efforts, they’ve rallied impressively. The Penguins boast a 7-0-3 record in their last 10 games, swiftly narrowing the gap with Washington, Philadelphia, and Detroit.

The Penguins’ captain played a crucial role in Thursday night’s game, assisting on Drew O’Connor’s first-period goal to reach 999 career assists.

In the second period, Crosby redirected a superb pass from Bryan Rust to move into a tie with Esposito at 1,590 points. Finally, in overtime, Crosby surpassed Esposito by setting up Erik Karlsson’s winning goal.

Sidney Crosby breaking into the Top 10

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
“That’s cool,” Crosby remarked via The Athletic’s Rob Rossi, admitting he didn’t know which players he had joined in the top 10.

“I haven’t looked that closely. But to be in that company with all of those players…that means a lot.”

No player had entered the top 10 in scoring since Jaromir Jagr accomplished it with the New York Rangers in 2008.

Crosby is among just 10 players who have scored 500 goals and tallied 1,000 assists.

The Penguins captain is one of just 10 players to have reached that milestone. Among them, he’s the sole current player in the top 10, with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals expected to join the club next season.

In the top 10 are NHL legends like Wayne Gretzky, Jagr, Mark Messier, and Gordie Howe, ranked 1-4 respectively. Ron Francis, Marcel, Dionne, and Joe Sakic. Steve Yzerman, whom Crosby idolized in his youth, holds the seventh spot with 1,771 points.

Mario Lemieux, Crosby’s former teammate and one-time Penguins owner, ranks eighth with 1,723 points and remains the Penguins’ all-time scoring leader.

Sidney Crosby tying Wayne Gretzky’s record.

Crosby’s current season stats stand at 41 goals and 88 points, guaranteeing that he’ll equal Gretzky’s record of 19 consecutive seasons with at least one point per game.

Over the last four seasons, Crosby has maintained an average of 1.15 points per game. If this pace continues, he’s poised to claim the ninth spot outright, surpassing Joe Sakic’s 1,641 points, by the conclusion of the upcoming season.

Barring any setbacks, Crosby could be on track to surpass Lemieux and Yzerman and potentially even Marcel Dionne to claim the NHL’s sixth-highest scoring spot in the 2025-26 season, setting the stage for a potential top 5 breakthrough in 2026-27.

Crosby, a future Hall of Famer, has secured three Stanley Cup championships, two Art Ross Trophies, two Conn Smythe Trophies, two Hart Trophies, two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies, and three Ted Lindsay Awards over the course of his illustrious career.


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