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On Sidney Crosby, last minute game-tying goals, and Mario Lemieux

He tied Mario.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Crosby is having what one could call an impressive season.

Okay, so he’s only tied for 11th in league-wide scoring, with 20 points. But he leads the entire NHL with 15 goals scored - and that’s in just 16 games played. Not only is Crosby scoring at almost a goal-a-game pace, but he’s at the top despite having played anywhere from 5-8 fewer games than the other leaders.

It isn’t just that he’s scoring a lot this time, though - it’s when he’s scoring. With just 14 seconds to go in the game against the New Jersey Devils? You can’t get much more dramatic than that.

And apparently, that drama has Crosby tying a record Mario Lemieux set for the Penguins. Via the Elias Sports Bureau:

It was the fourth time that Crosby scored a tying goal in the final minute of the third period during his NHL career, tying the Penguins franchise record set by Mario Lemieux.

The other three times? Once in the 2006-07 season, when he scored with 16 seconds left to force extra time against the Atlanta Thrashers that the Penguins lost (Dec. 21, 2006).

He’s also done it twice in the 2013-14 season: on Nov. 23, 2013, he scored with just one second left to tie a game against the Boston Bruins; the Penguins would go on to lose in overtime. And on Jan. 7, 2014, he scored with 55 seconds to go to tie a game against the Vancouver Canucks, and then went on to win it for the Penguins in the shootout.

These goals are of a much rarer breed; the majority of the time Crosby is scoring with under a minute to go, it’s an empty netter. (Plus two games in which he scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation, an even rarer feat.) But knowing he’s done it as much as Lemieux has now? That’s just extra special.