PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — A sell-out crowd at the CONSOL Energy Center saw Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby reach another milestone.
Crosby accomplished his first career natural hat trick when he scored three goals in the Pens’ 3-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Thrashers were on a hot streak of their own when they took the ice Thursday night, winning their last six games – a franchise-tying record.
But the Penguins ended it and extended their own streak to eight games.
The Penguins, 10-0-1 in their last 11, are on their longest winning streak since they also won eight in a row from Dec. 23, 2007-Jan. 10, 2008.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed Nik Antropov’s goal that made it 3-2 late in the second period, but made 20 saves while improving to 9-0-1 in his last 10 starts.
It took the NHL’s hottest scorer to beat one of the league’s hottest teams. Crosby has scored six goals in his last two home games – he had three Saturday against Calgary – and has 15 goals and 14 assists for 29 points in 14 games.
Crosby, the league’s leading scorer with 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points in 27 games, tied Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the goal-scoring lead. They tied for the goals title last season with 51 apiece.
Crosby did not score three consecutive goals during any of his six previous hat tricks, but he did so against Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who had an 0.83 goals-against average during Atlanta’s winning streak.