Milestone game for Penguins captain

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos appeared in the 600th regular-season American Hockey League game of his career on Sunday afternoon, becoming just the fourth player in history to reach that plateau in both the AHL and the National Hockey League.

Kostopoulos joins Dave Creighton, Jim Morrison and Shawn Thornton in the exclusive club.

In his 17th professional season – and ninth in the Penguins organization – Kostopoulos is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points. The 37-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., entered the day with 177 goals and 268 assists for 445 points in 599 AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1999-2004, 2012- ) and Manchester (2004-05).

Kostopoulos has also added 18 goals and 42 assists for 60 points in 82 Calder Cup Playoff contests, helping the Penguins to Finals appearances in 2001 and 2004.

Originally a seventh-round draft choice by Pittsburgh in 1999, Kostopoulos has skated in 630 regular-season games in the NHL with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Montreal, Carolina, Calgary and New Jersey, registering 61 goals and 96 assists for 157 points. He has also appeared in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff matches.

Creighton played 800 games in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, Rochester Americans, Buffalo Bisons, Baltimore Clippers and Providence Reds between 1948 and 1968, as well as 615 games in the NHL with Boston, Toronto, Chicago and the New York Rangers.

Morrison, an honored member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame, played 721 AHL games with the Hershey Bears, Pittsburgh Hornets, Quebec Aces and Baltimore Clippers, along with 704 NHL contests with Boston, Toronto, Detroit, the Rangers and Pittsburgh, over 22 professional seasons from 1951-73.

Thornton, currently with the Florida Panthers, has skated in 644 NHL games with Florida, Boston, Anaheim and Chicago to go with 605 games in the AHL playing for the St. John’s Maple Leafs, Norfolk Admirals and Portland Pirates.