Crosby Nets Hat Trick As Pens Beat Flames 4-1
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames Saturday afternoon.
Sidney Crosby wasn’t about to let a failed penalty shot in the first period snap his 11-game point streak.
Crosby recorded his sixth career regular season hat trick, including a shorthanded empty netter with time ticking down in the third period, to extend his streak to 12 games.
Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was the only reason the Penguins didn’t run away with the game in the first period.
Pittsburgh outshot the Flames 24-6 in the opening frame, but were unable to get a puck behind Kiprusoff until the second period.
Arron Asham fed a pass back to Brooks Orpik, who just missed on a slap shot to the short side. The rebound came rocketing off the endboards to Kris Letang, who barely got anything on a slapper of his own. The puck then bounced around and Asham launched a slap shot that beat Kiprusoff to the far side for his third goal of the season.
Six minutes later, Chris Kunitz broke into the Calgary zone with Crosby. Kunitz fired a shot on net that was stopped by Kiprusoff, but the rebound came right back to Kunitz. He slid the puck over to Crosby, who buried it into an empty net to put the Pens up 2-0.
In the third period, Crosby connected again for his 200th NHL goal.
While on the power play, Letang stepped up to hold a puck in and made a nifty backhand pass through his legs to Evgeni Malkin.
Malkin gave it back to Letang, who fed Paul Martin for a one-timer. Crosby was able to get a piece of the puck through the crowd in front of Kiprusoff to put the Penguins up 3-0.
Rene Bourque gave the Flames hope with about seven minutes to play in the third period.
Brent Johnson made the initial stop on Alex Tanguay’s shot, but Bourque was there to bang home the rebound.
More tense moments were in store as Letang was called for holding with just under two minutes to play.
Calgary pulled Kiprusoff for a 6-on-4 advantage, but the Penguins’ captain put the game away with an empty net goal from just inside his own blue line.
With the win, the Penguins are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and have pulled within two points of Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead.
The Penguins will now go on the road to take on the New York Rangers Monday night.