Crosby collects 800th assist, Penguins top Senators

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby scored and collected his 800th career assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins ended a six-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over Ottawa on Tuesday night.

Crosby became the 32nd player in NHL history to reach the 800-assist plateau when he earned the secondary assist on Jason Zucker’s goal 36 seconds into the third period that put the Penguins up 5-1. The 32-year-old Crosby needed just 980 games to get to 800, the sixth-fastest ever.

Bryan Rust collected his third career hat trick for the Penguins, who tied a season high in goals.

Pittsburgh defenseman John Marino scored 48 seconds into his return after missing 11 games due to facial surgery, giving the Penguins the early lead. Conor Sheary capped off a three-goal first period outburst as Pittsburgh halted the franchise’s longest losing streak in more than eight years. Matt Murray finished with 23 saves to win for just the second time in his last seven starts.

Jayce Hawryluk, Brady Tkachuk and Connor Brown scored for the Senators but Ottawa couldn’t keep pace with the Penguins, who began a crucial stretch by emerging from a two-week funk that sapped them of the momentum they’d built while rocketing to the top of the Metropolitan Division.