PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won for the sixth time in seven games by beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Thursday night.
Crosby scored in the first period, added an empty-net goal, and assisted on Bill Guerin's winning tally with 12:45 left in regulation to give him 11 points in three games.
Pittsburgh has won eight of 10 and five consecutive at home to remain tied with the Washington Capitals for the most points (40) in the Eastern Conference.
T.J. Galiardi scored for the second straight game for Colorado, which has only one win in its past six and three victories in the past 13 games.
Guerin scored one second after a 5-on-3 power play had expired. Crosby fed a pass to him from above the right circle to inside the left circle. Guerin one-timed a shot between the post and goalie Peter Budaj, who stretched to his right.
Crosby scored his 18th of the season with 6.1 seconds to play in the first period on a pretty passing play with Mike Rupp. Rupp, who had a hat trick Monday in New York against the Rangers, broke in on a quick-developing 2-on-1 with Crosby and gave him the puck at the last moment for a tap-in.
Crosby's seventh goal in three games was scored with 31 seconds to play - 18 seconds after Jordan Staal also had an empty-netter.
Evgeni Malkin had three assists for the Penguins and Staal added an assist on Crosby's second goal.
Galiardi scored 5:02 into the game. He took a pass during a power play from Darcy Tucker in front of the net Galiardi deflected the puck on a perfect angle just off the far post and past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Galiardi, who had only one goal this season before Wednesday, appeared to score his third in two days 8:14 into the second. But an official blew his whistle before the puck crossed the goal line - even though television replays showed Fleury never had control of the puck underneath him.
Colorado had only one shot in the third period.
NOTES: Avalanche RW Milan Hejduk returned after missing three games due to a knee injury. ... The Penguins became the first NHL team to reach 20 wins. ... Colorado lost on consecutive nights to Eastern Conference teams after beginning the season 6-0 outside the West. ... Pittsburgh improved to 16-2 when having at least 30 shots. ... Fleury, who has won six straight starts, leads the NHL with 17 victories.