PITTSBURGH (AP) Sidney Crosby matched Wayne Gretzky for the seventh-most goals with a single franchise in NHL history, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 on Sunday.

“Any time you can be in (Gretzky’s) company, I think it’s definitely a good thing,” Crosby said. “Usually (Gretzky) or Mario (Lemieux) are kind of on their own for most things. It’s nice to be there.”

Crosby, Lars Eller, Reilly Smith and Valtteri Puustinen each had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which won for the second time in three games following a four-game losing streak. Michael Bunting and Drew O’Connor also scored.

Crosby’s 583rd career goal, his first in 12 games and No. 33 on the season, helped the Penguins keep their playoff hopes alive after dealing star winger Jake Guentzel at the trade deadline.

Alex Nedeljkovic, who spent the previous two seasons with the Red Wings, stopped 25 shots for Pittsburgh.

“Those games are always fun to play in,” Nedeljkovic said. “We’re chasing these guys for a playoff spot. To get two points was huge, especially in regulation.”

Lucas Raymond scored twice for Detroit, which lost for the eighth time in nine games. Christian Fischer added his fourth of the season, and Alex Lyon made 32 saves.

“We’ll get a much-needed day off (Monday) and we’ll refocus Tuesday with another opportunity,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said.

Pittsburgh moved within five points of Detroit for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins missed the playoffs last season after running off 16 consecutive postseason berths – and winning three Stanley Cups – between 2007-22.

“I think we’re all pushing,” Crosby said. “We’re all trying to do what we can to put ourselves in that position. We’ve got to go a game at a time and get points.”

Smith opened the scoring for Pittsburgh at 10:10 of the first period, one second after a power play expired. Marcus Pettersson’s pass attempt redirected off Smith’s leg in the slot and across the line.

Raymond tied it at 15:39 when he scored for the fourth consecutive game, but the Penguins responded with two goals in the final 1:07 of the period.

Crosby put the Penguins in front at 18:53 on a backhand from the slot. Puustinen beat Lyon to the glove side from close range 23 seconds later. It was Puustinen’s second goal in as many games.

Bunting, who was acquired from Carolina in the Guentzel trade, made it 4-1 at 9:34 of the second. He knocked a rebound across the line while he was falling to the ice.

Fischer cut the deficit in half for the Red Wings at 14:35 of the second with a finish from between the circles. But Pittsburgh regained its three-goal edge with a power-play goal when Eller deflected Crosby’s point shot in the final minute of the period.

“I thought we worked hard and generated a lot, especially the first half of the game,” Crosby said. “We converted. That was the difference.”


Red Wings: Host Columbus on Tuesday.

Penguins: Begin a three-game road trip Tuesday at New Jersey.


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