Sidney Crosby capped his comeback with a flourish.
The superstar forward scored twice and added two assists in his season debut and the Penguins crushed the New York Islanders, 5-0, last night in Pittsburgh.
Playing his first game in more than 10 months while recovering from concussion-like symptoms, Crosby appeared to be in midseason form.
He scored on his third shift in spectacular fashion, weaving through the New York defense before beating Anders Nilsson with a backhand for his first goal since last December.
Crosby added assists on goals by Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik and capped his comeback with a second tally, a backhand that fluttered past Nilsson early in the third period to provide the final margin.
“Sidney Crosby’s back, guys,’’ linemate Pascal Dupuis said.
Steve Sullivan also scored for the Penguins while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots.
Nilsson, making just his second start of the season, made 31 saves.
The rookie looked overwhelmed at times as the Penguins roared to life with their captain back.
An electric crowd greeted Crosby with a deafening roar when he skated onto the ice during warm-ups while “Back in the Saddle Again’’ blared over the speakers.
Crosby played nearly 16 minutes and for the first time in nearly a year, absorbed a hit at game speed. New York’s Travis Hamonic cleanly checked Crosby to the ground during a first-period Pittsburgh power play.
Capitals 4, Coyotes 3 - Nicklas Backstrom scored early in the third period, then set up Brooks Laich’s power-play goal, helping host Washington rally from a two-goal deficit and end a four-game losing streak.
Backstrom broke a 2-2 tie 1:52 into the final period, lifting the puck past goalie Jason LaBarbera.
Joel Ward and Alex Ovechkin were credited with assists - Ovechkin’s first point in five games.
Backstrom earned an assist on Laich’s goal at the 7:06 mark of the third period during a 5 on 3.
Hurricanes 4, Flyers 2 - Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals and an assist and Chad LaRose had a goal and two assists and Carolina earned its first victory in Philadelphia since Nov. 28, 2008.
Jeff Skinner also scored and Cam Ward made 30 saves for Carolina.
James van Riemsdyk and Matt Read scored for Philadelphia, which has lost two in a row.
Blue Jackets 4, Flames 1 - Jeff Carter had two goals, Curtis Sanford made 27 saves, and host Columbus won back-to-back for the first time in 42 games.
Antoine Vermette and Rick Nash also scored, and Vinny Prospal added three assists for the Blue Jackets, who improved 3-1-1 in their last five games.
Mark Giordano scored for Calgary, which was seeking a third consecutive win.
Panthers 4, Devils 3 - Tomas Fleischmann scored at 17:57 in the third period, Kris Versteeg scored twice, and Jose Theodore stopped 24 shots to help host Florida rally from a three-goal deficit.
Fleischmann took a pass from Weiss to the left of the net and shot it past Martin Brodeur (33 saves).
Stars 4, Oilers 1 - Michael Ryder, Toby Petersen, Steve Ott, and Radek Dvorak each scored to help host Dallas Stars end a five-game losing streak.