His first goal was Oct. 8, 2005. Sidney Crosby scored his first NHL goal in his third NHL game. He lit the lamp at the now-distant memory Civic Arena, across the street from PPG Paints Arena. Big things were expected, but many players have carried big promises only to fizzle or never reach greatness. And 16 years later, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain is just the second active player and 46th in NHL history to record his 500th goal.
Crosby, 34, reached greatness and maintained it into his mid-30s. Three Stanley Cups. Leading a franchise from the shadow of Mario Lemieux into the Crosby-Malkin era, which is 16-years and counting.
Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena, Crosby scored the 50th goal of his career against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 50th game of the season. Crosby kind of owns the Flyers after being bloodied in his first game ever against the Flyers in his rookie year. Flyers defenseman Darien Hatcher high-stocked Crosby, and despite the blood, there was no penalty.
Crosby returned to the game and scored his first OT game-winner. He’s dominated the Philadelphia Flyers ever since.
If you don’t think numerology and a bit of superstition aren’t part of Sidney Crosby, you just haven’t been paying attention. He wears No. 87 because his birthday is Aug. 7, 1987. As one of many superstitions, Crosby ties his skates at the same time in every warmup after working on his puckhandling skills on a nearby sponsor logo.
Also, if it means anything, former Penguins great Jaromir Jagr turned 50 on Tuesday, too.
There have been 499 goals since that initial tally against Boston. Thursday night, Crosby scored his 14th goal of the season and the 500th of his career later in the first period when his one-timer from the right-wing circle glanced off Philadelphia goalie Carter Hart and into the net.
Update: The Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 4-2 third period deficit to beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4 in OT.
The Penguins team raced from the bench to congratulate their captain Watch: