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Sidney Crosby: 15 Greatest Highlights of His NHL Career so Far

April WeinerCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2011

Sidney Crosby: 15 Greatest Highlights of His NHL Career so Far

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    Sidney Crosby was cleared for contact in practice two weeks ago, but he's not quite game-ready yet, as NHL.com reported. 

    It's nearing 11 months since Crosby last played in a game, but if all goes well, it shouldn't be too long until he's back in game mode.

    Since we have no new highlights of Crosby's 2011-12 NHL season, let's take a look back at some of his greatest highlights from his career so far.

    Here are 15 of the Pittsburgh Penguins captain's career thus far. 

15. One of Crosby's Greatest Early Goals

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    One of Sidney Crosby's greatest goals came in his rookie season. 

    Crosby is skating, one against two and then is falling backwards, but still manages to get his stick on the puck and put it in the net.

    Very impressive and still one of his best, despite the many goals he's scored since. 

14. Sidney Scores from the "Seat" of His Pants

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    Another one of Sidney Crosby's most memorable goals came during his rookie season, against the Phoenix Coyotes.

    Crosby falls to the ice, but still scores a goal from "the seat of his pants." 

13. Sidney Crosby Hits 50 Goals

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    Once upon a time, Sidney Crosby wasn't known for being a skilled goal-scorer.

    That changed after the 2009-10 season, when Crosby hit 50 goals for the first time in his career and tied Steven Stamkos for the Rocket Richard Trophy. 

    Suddenly Crosby became an intimidating shooter. 

12. Perseverance Pays Off

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    One of Sidney Crosby's best games came in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Ottawa Senators

    One of the highlights of that night was this assist from Crosby on a Kristopher Letang goal.

    Crosby is being tailed everywhere he goes by Jason Spezza, back and forth behind the net, so Crosby sinks to his knees to pass the puck to Letang.

    Goal. 

11. Awesome Save in 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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    Who would have thought that Sidney Crosby's best play that night against the Ottawa Senators would have been preventing a goal, not scoring or helping to score one?

    (Well, anyone who knows that Crosby originally was going to be a goaltender since that's the position his dad played.)

    The Sens are this close to having a goal when Crosby dives behind Marc-Andre Fleury to get the puck away.

    Cue the Crosby diving jokes. 

10. Shootout Winner in First Winter Classic

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    The first Winter Classic the Pittsburgh Penguins participated in ended much better for the team and Sidney Crosby than their second one. 

    The inaugural Winter Classic between the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo went to shootout. 

    Who should score the game-winner in the shootout? None other than Sidney Crosby (at about 4:57).

9. First Playoff Hat Trick

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    The 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins was one of the most star-studded playoff series, with Alex Ovechkin's team facing Sidney Crosby's team.

    In Game 2 of the series, Ovechkin scored a hat trick. 

    What else was there for Crosby to do but also score a hat trick? 

    Alas, the Penguins lost that game, making the trick a moot point, but they would obviously win the series. 

8. 100th Goal, 200th Assist, 300th Point All on the Same Night

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    October 18 was a huge night for Sidney Crosby. The Penguins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1, but that's not what made that night special.

    Crosby tallied four points in that game, one goal and three assists.

    That goal was his 100th career goal. He also hit 200 career assists that night, giving him 300 career points.  

7. First NHL Fight

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    It might not have been his most memorable fight (that honor probably belongs to this fight), but Sidney Crosby got his first NHL fight in 2007 in a game against the Boston Bruins.

    Crosby dropped the gloves with Andrew Ference for his first scrap.  

6. Youngest Captain in NHL History

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    On May 31, 2007, at still 19 years of age, Sidney  Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history when he was given the "C" for the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

    He had big shoes to fill, considering he was taking over Mario Lemieux's former position, but he'd fill them well. 

5. First NHL Goal

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    One of the most important and most memorable moments of an NHL player's career is his first goal in the league.

    Sidney Crosby's came against the Boston Bruins.

    Crosby sure has gotten a lot of firsts against the Bruins...

4. Rocket Richard Trophy

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    After winning the Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and most other NHL awards, one of the only things left for Sidney Crosby to win was the Rocket Richard Trophy, as the league's leading goal-scorer.

    In 2010, that was an honor Crosby shared with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Cross that off the checklist. 

3. Hart Trophy

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    The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the league's most valuable player at the annual NHL awards show. 

    Sidney Crosby was the recipient of the Hart in just his second season in the league—no sophomore slump for the Kid. 

    Crosby cleaned up that night, also winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading point scorer and the Lester B. Pearson (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as the best player voted by the players. 

2. Golden Goal

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    Sidney Crosby may have been nearly nonexistent throughout most of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but he made his presence known when it counted most. 

    In the gold medal game between Team Canada and Team USA, it seemed like Team Canada had the game locked down.

    Then, Zach Parise scored for Team USA to tie the game, with the seconds ticking down, sending the game into overtime.

    That's when Crosby stepped in, eventually scoring the game and gold-medal winning goal. 

1. Winning the Stanley Cup

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    Ask any North American hockey player and many of the European players: The biggest goal of their hockey careers is to win the Stanley Cup. 

    Thus, that has to be the biggest highlight of Sidney Crosby's NHL career, even though he was sidelined for much of the game.

    However, after falling to the Detroit Red Wings in 2008, the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame the odds to defeat Detroit in 2009 and win the Stanley Cup. 

    Plus, Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history to ever lift the Cup. 

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