Crosby youngest to score 100

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – To put Sidney Crosby’s rookie season into perspective, consider this: Only Wayne Gretzky had a season this good at so young an age, and he wasn’t playing in the NHL.

Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins set up two goals in a 25-second span Monday night to become the youngest player in NHL history to score 100 points in a season.

Crosby also tied Mario Lemieux’s 1984-85 team record for most points in a season by a rookie and joined Hall of Fame forward Dale Hawerchuk as the only 18-year-olds in league history to get 100 points in a season.

However, Hawerchuk was three-plus months older than Crosby when he did it, and was only a few days short of 19. Crosby’s season might be more comparable to Gretzky’s first when, in the year in which The Great One turned 18, he scored 104 points for the WHA’s Jets in 1978-79. The Jets moved into the NHL a season later.

“It’s a great accomplishment, and I’m definitely proud of it,” Crosby said. “By no means, coming into the season, did I think about getting 100 points. But as it became near, it was something I thought would be a nice feat, and I tried to have the best finish to the season – and have no regrets.”

He’s had that finish, too, with 20 points in nine games and 13 in his last six.

“One hundred points? At 18?” teammate Colby Armstrong said. “This kid’s doing something most people can’t imagine or dream of.”

Crosby, honored earlier in the night as the Penguins’ most valuable player, came into the game against the New York Islanders needing three points for 100. He got the first point 1:04 into the game, executing a 2-on-1 break with Andy Hilbert to set up Hilbert’s 12th goal.

Crosby got his 99th point at 15:19 of the second, passing to Colby Armstrong along the right wing boards, then cutting to the net, taking the return pass and feeding it ahead to Tomas Surovy for Surovy’s 12th goal.

After the Islanders’ Jason Blake drew a 5-minute charging penalty, Crosby grabbed the puck off John LeClair’s faceoff win and passed it up ice to Ryan Malone, who beat goalie Garth Snow for his 21st goal and second of the game. The assist was Crosby’s 62nd of the season.

Play was stopped for nearly five minutes after Malone scored as the noisy, standing-room crowd of 17,084 showered the ice with hats and T-shirts given away to support the Penguins’ efforts to get a new arena. Several fans held up signs reading “Crosby 100” and teammates crowded to congratulate Crosby as he returned to the bench.

Crosby, the No. 1 pick in last summer’s NHL draft, is 100 days younger than Hawerchuk.

was when he scored 103 points for the Winnipeg Jets in 1981-82. Crosby also becomes the seventh rookie to reach the 100-point mark, joining Teemu Selanne, Hawerchuk, Lemieux, Joe Juneau, Peter Stastny and Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, who reached the mark last week.

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