DENVER — Jeff Carter had a pair of goals, Sidney Crosby scored on a nifty backhand shot in the second period to reach the 30-goal mark for an 11th season and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Crosby moved into a tie with Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history. Even more, Crosby’s the first player in league history to post a 30-goal campaign at 18 years old and again when he was 35-plus, according to NHL Stats.
Jake Guentzel also scored and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game slide and moved back into a wild-card spot in the East. They’re trying to extend their playoff streak to 17 straight seasons.
Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4 this season against teams from the Western Conference.
J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, whose six-game winning streak was halted. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home points streak to 18 games.
Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves, including several critical ones in a second period controlled by the Penguins, who outshot the Avalanche by a 21-9 margin. It could’ve been more than a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.