|No Penguin is as good on ice as Sidney Crosby, who was gliding (sans skates) after scoring into an empty net for his third goal. (David DeNoma/Reuters)|
Icy-hot Penguins stop New Jersey
Crosby hat trick cools off Devils
Sidney Crosby had his first career hat trick at Mellon Arena and added an assist, and the Penguins snapped the New Jersey Devils' five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory last night in Pittsburgh.
Crosby, who has six goals in his past three games to give him a team-high 13 for the season, scored twice Friday night at Buffalo. He posted consecutive multiple-goal games for the first time in his career.
Petr Sykora also scored and Dany Sabourin made 29 saves for Pittsburgh, which completed a 9-2-1 November.
Michael Rupp scored for the Devils, who had scored 23 goals during their win streak.
Crosby was at his fast-skating, playmaking best most of the contest, and he scored just 1:21 into it. The Penguins' young superstar carried the puck into the offensive zone, splitting Paul Martin and Bryce Slavador to get in close on New Jersey goalie Scott Clemmensen from the right side. He briefly lost control of the puck before spinning to the left of the crease and firing a turning backhand past Clemmensen.
Crosby's second goal came midway through the third, when Evgeni Malkin took the puck off a turnover by Barry Tallackson and slapped it to Crosby, who was alone to the left of Clemmensen and made it 3-0.
Crosby completed his second career hat trick - the other coming Oct. 28, 2006, in Philadelphia - by scoring an empty-net goal with 2:01 to play. Crosby stripped Patrik Elias of the puck at center ice and skated in despite being hooked by Elias, diving to slap the puck into the net.
Crosby assisted on the Penguins' first power-play goal in 17 chances by walking through the right-wing faceoff circle and delivering a pass over the stick of a New Jersey defenseman to Sykora, who was all alone on the opposite side of the crease and converted at 7:26 of the second.
Canadiens 3, Sabres 2 - Andrei Markov scored Montreal's third goal of the second period to send the Canadiens over visiting Buffalo.
Andrei Kostitsyn and Steve Begin also scored in the middle period for Montreal.
Thomas Vanek scored twice for Buffalo to regain the NHL goal-scoring lead from Philadelphia's Jeff Carter with 17 goals.
Carey Price made 26 saves to win his second in a row.
Kings 5, Blackhawks 2 - Derek Armstrong scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to end a 29-game drought, Alexander Frolov had a goal and an assist in his 400th NHL game, and host Los Angeles defeated Chicago.
Jarret Stoll and Patrick O'Sullivan had a goal and an assist each, Kyle Calder ended a 12-game goal-less streak during a power play, and Kyle Quincey and Michal Handzus each had two assists for the Kings. Erik Ersberg made 22 saves for LA.
Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist for Chicago. Cristobal Huet stopped 23 shots.
Islanders 4, Senators 2 - Defenseman Freddy Meyer scored twice and added an assist as New York snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over Ottawa in Uniondale, N.Y.
Andy Hilbert and Trent Hunter had the other goals for the Islanders, who beat the Senators three times in a season for the first time since Ottawa rejoined the NHL in 1992. Joey MacDonald, who started his 14th straight game, stopped 19 shots for the win.
Wild 6, Predators 2 - Mikko Koivu scored two goals and added an assist to lead Minnesota to victory in Nashville.
Andrew Brunette had a goal and two assists for the Wild, and Antti Miettinen recorded three assists.
Blue Jackets 3, Capitals 0 - Rick Nash scored twice and rookie goaltender Steve Mason stopped 26 shots to lead host Columbus over Washington.
Mason was sensational, making several sterling saves to pick up his second career shutout - and second in the last week.
Flames 3, Canucks 1 - Daymond Langkow scored the pivotal first goal in host Calgary's victory over Vancouver.
Combined with a 4-3 victory Thursday night in Vancouver, Calgary swept the home-and-home series and climbed within 1 point of the Canucks atop the Northwest Division.
Maple Leafs 4, Flyers 2 - Dominic Moore and Nik Antropov each had a goal and an assist for host Toronto, which won for the first time in six games.
Oilers 4, Blues 2 - Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist in the third period and Edmonton overcame a two-goal deficit at St. Louis.
Sharks 3, Coyotes 2 - Joe Pavelski scored twice, including the go-ahead goal with 8:37 remaining, and visiting San Jose rallied from an early two-goal deficit to win its seventh staright.
Avalanche 4, Lightning 3 - Wojtek Wolski scored two goals, Marek Svatos had three assists, and host Colorado held on to beat Tampa Bay, which has lost four straight.