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Crosby moves into 13th on NHL's all-time scoring list as Penguins top Wild

Sidney Crosby Penguins Sidney Crosby - Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby's 18th goal of the season broke a third-period tie and the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Monday night.

The Penguins blew a three-goal lead but recovered to win for the third time in four games behind Crosby, who added an assist to move past Mark Recchi and into 13th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,535 points.

Jake Guentzel scored his 14th goal for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Reilly Smith also scored, Valtteri Puustinen and Marcus Pettersson each added two assists and Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 24 shots as Pittsburgh rebounded from an ugly shutout loss in Toronto on Saturday.

Ryan Hartman, Jake Middleton and Vinni Lettieri scored for the Wild, who scored three times in less than 10 minutes across the second and third periods to rally from a 3-0 deficit and briefly pull even.

Filip Gustavsson, given the nod over former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in perhaps his final visit to Pittsburgh, made 26 saves. However, he couldn't stop Crosby from jamming home a loose puck 6:20 into the third to put Pittsburgh in front to stay as the Penguins beat Minnesota for the ninth time in their last 10 meetings.

When the schedule came out it looked like the visit by the Wild would be a chance for Fluery, who made his NHL debut for Pittsburgh as a teenager and spent 13 seasons as part of the core group that led the franchise to three Stanley Cups, to make one final bow in Pittsburgh.

Instead, with the Wild facing a back-to-back with the Penguins and Bruins, Minnesota coach John Hynes gave the nod to Gustavsson. Fleury was relegated to getting some work in during warmups and then trying — and failing — to flip a couple of pucks over the net and into the crowd of fans who slammed their hands against the glass in appreciation of the franchise's all-time leader in most major goaltending categories.

The crowd chanted for Fleury relentlessly for most of the opening two periods and it seemed there was an outside chance it might get its wish when the Penguins controlled play for long stretches and found plenty of space to get the puck by Gustavsson.

When Malkin converted a 2-on-1 feed from Puustinen into an open net 3:34 into the second period, Pittsburgh appeared to be in full command.

It wasn't. Hartman and Middleton scored 2:26 apart late in the second period to get the Wild back in it and when Lettieri redirected Jon Merrill's flick from the point by Nedeljkovic 5:33 into the third, the game was tied.

For all of 47 seconds anyway, or as long as it took for Crosby to pounce on a bouncing puck in front of Gustavsson as Pittsburgh's rejuvenated power play scored its second of the night.

The Penguins have now scored with the man advantage five times in their last four games after snapping out of an 0-for-37 funk.


Wild: Visit Boston on Tuesday.

Penguins: Are off until Thursday when Metropolitan Division rival Carolina visits.