First call: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel pass familiar names on scoring charts; The penguins face the challenge of the frisson jets

First call: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel pass familiar names on scoring charts; The penguins face the challenge of the frisson jets

It’s a hockey-heavy “First Call” for this Friday as we look back on a banner day in Penguins history.

We preview the team’s next opponent, who is on fire right now. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel are taking a few steps up the all-time scoring ladder. Some former penguins contributed to a wild game between St. Louis and Washington.

Plus, we mix in some women’s basketball when the City Game is about to take place.

Known names

Sidney Crosby scored twice in the Penguins’ 6-4 win at Minnesota on Thursday. That means he now has nine goals and 21 points on the season.

It also means he has 526 goals for his career. This ranks him 35th on the NHL’s all-time career goals list. He is now one goal ahead of former teammate Marian Hossa and two ahead of another former Penguin, Bryan Trottier.

Hall of Famer Frank Mahovlich is next with 533.

Meanwhile, as TribLIVE’s Seth Rorabaugh noted, Jake Guentzel (357 points) passed Alexei Kovalev (354) for 18th on the franchise’s career scoring list.

Guentzel had a goal and two assists in the game.

time flies

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Mario Lemieux’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He entered alongside Trottier as part of the 1997 class.

Lemieux was inducted immediately after his first retirement in 1997, waiving the normal three-year waiting period. He was the ninth such player to receive this honor.

When he returned to the ice in 2000, he became the third Hall of Famer to play after being inducted. The other two were Gordie Howe and Guy Lafleur. Here it is Lemeux’s induction speech.

Take off like a jet

After that win in Minnesota on Thursday, the Penguins now have to face one of the hottest teams in hockey on Saturday.

No, not the New Jersey Devils. They are crazy as they just beat Matt Murray and the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime for their 11th straight win. The Devils have plenty of time to freshen up before taking on the Penguins on December 30.

Instead, the Pens are in Winnipeg to face a Jets team that is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games. They just beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Thursday. Kyle Connor had a hat trick.

Winnipeg has 21 points in the Central Division, just one behind the first-place Dallas Stars. They allow just 2.33 goals per game, best in the Western Conference and second in the NHL behind only the Boston Bruins (2.12). They also have the third best penalty kill in hockey at 84.2%.

Greiss the Great and the Great 8

Former Penguin Thomas Greiss made 47 saves as the St. Louis Blues won their fifth straight game in a wild one by holding off the Washington Capitals. St. Louis edged the Caps 5-4 in a six-inning shootout Thursday at the Enterprise Center.

After Washington trailed 3-0, Alexander Ovechkin scored his first goal in five games to make it 3-1 at 15:12 of the second. Ovechkin tied Trottier for 18th all-time in NHL career points (1,425). It is his 789th career goal.

Another former Penguin, Conor Sheary, tied the game at 4-4 to force overtime at 16:57 of the third. But Pavel Buchnevich eventually scored the game-winner in the penalty shootout for St. Louis.

The blues now have 16 points, six of the Estels in the Central. Washington, the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers all have 17 points, tied for fifth in the Metropolitan.

The rivalry was renewed

The City Game is coming up at 6pm Saturday night at the Petersen Events Center between the Duquesne and Pitt women’s basketball teams.

Both clubs are 3-0 to start the year. Dan Burt’s Dukes have wins against Point Park, Brown and Manhattan.

Lance White’s Panthers have wins over Coppin State, George Mason and Bryant.

Pitt won last year’s City Game 69-64. Duquesne won last in 2019.

The men have not played the match since 2018.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or road Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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