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game recap

Rust hat trick helps Penguins top Senators, end six-game losing streak

Malkin has four assists, Crosby, Zucker each has goal, two assists for Pittsburgh

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

Rust's third career NHL hat trick

OTT@PIT: Rust propels Pens past Sens with hat trick

Bryan Rust buries a power-play goal in the 1st, then scores twice in the 3rd to earn his third career NHL hat trick in the Penguins' 7-3 win

  • 02:33 •

PITTSBURGH -- Bryan Rust had a hat trick, and the Pittsburgh Penguins ended a season-long six-game losing streak with a 7-3 win against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Sidney Crosby and Jason Zucker each had a goal and two assists, Evgeni Malkin had four assists, and Matt Murray made 23 saves for the Penguins (38-21-6), who had been outscored 24-8 in six straight regulation losses. Pittsburgh moved within one point of the second-place Philadelphia Flyers in the Metropolitan Division.

"There was a lot of collective, cooperative effort out there," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "Guys finished. They were on the puck. They had some quality chances, and they finished. You've got to give the players credit."


[WATCH: All Senators vs. Penguins highlights]


Craig Anderson made 28 saves for Ottawa (23-32-12), which had won its previous two games.

"I didn't think we played a smart game," Senators coach D.J. Smith. "I think we tried to come back. We made it 5-3. We had good effort in the third period, just we were careless with the puck. We hung [Anderson] out to dry." 

Crosby reached 800 NHL assists in 980 games. He is the 32nd player in League history to achieve that milestone.

"It's a nice number," Crosby said. "I mean, it took long enough here. So glad I got it, and try to move on."

Video: OTT@PIT: Crosby notches 800th assist on Zucker's goal

John Marino put Pittsburgh ahead 1-0 with a snap shot from the point 48 seconds into the first period. The rookie defenseman missed the previous 11 games with a facial injury.

Conor Sheary scored when his shot went off defenseman Mike Reilly's stick to make it 2-0 at 1:39. He also had an assist for his first two points since being acquired in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 24 after previously playing with Pittsburgh from 2015-18.

After Jayce Hawryluk cut it to 2-1 at 16:24 for Ottawa, Rust extended Pittsburgh's lead to 3-1 when he scored on the power play with 45 seconds left in the first.

Crosby made it 4-1 on a snap shot from the right circle at 17:21 of the second period.

Video: OTT@PIT: Crosby banks puck home to extend lead

Zucker pushed the lead to 5-1 on a backhand 36 seconds into the third period before Brady Tkachuk cut it to 5-2 on a redirection at 1:09. Connor Brown made it 5-3 with a snap shot at 11:27. 

"We felt like we had them on the ropes too," Tkachuk said. "We were taking it to them at that point. There was a shift off where it was just kind of a bad break. Kind of changes the tide for the rest of the game. We thought we had good jump at the start and kind of made things interesting, but towards the end, we just kind of let [Anderson] out to dry."

Rust scored on a wrist shot to make it 6-3 with 6:31 remaining before capping his hat trick on a snap shot with 2:50 left for the 7-3 final. It was his third NHL hat trick and first since having three goals against the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 12, 2018.

Video: Clutch Performance: Rust tucks a hat-trick


They said it

"[The Penguins have] got guys that can capitalize on chances. That's something we gave them too many of. I think this is a game we want to put in the rearview. That's four or so games we've played a nice brand, we've done things we want to do. We got away from it today. Learning curve. Just get back to it." -- Senators forward Connor Brown

"It was definitely nice to see some pucks go in the net. We've hit a lot of posts. Missed some open nets. … Any time you can get a hat trick, it's definitely pretty fun." -- Penguins forward Bryan Rust 

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Rust nets three goals


Need to know

Crosby is the sixth player in NHL history to reach 800 assists in fewer than 1,000 games. He joined Wayne Gretzky (527 games), Mario Lemieux (661), Paul Coffey (880), Adam Oates (919) and Bryan Trottier (969). … Senators forward Colin White had two assists in his return after missing three games with an upper-body injury. … Ottawa forward Anthony Duclair (right ankle) missed a fourth straight game. He was listed as questionable to play after practicing Monday. … Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin had an assist in 19:52 after being a game-time decision. He had not played since having ankle surgery Dec. 1. … Pittsburgh forward Brandon Tanev did not play because of an illness. … Reilly had one assist in 17:21 in his 200th NHL game. … Forward Patrick Marleau had an assist for his first point in four games with the Penguins since being acquired in a trade from the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 24. … Senators forward Artem Anisimov left after Bobby Ryan checked Malkin into him at 1:03 of the first period. Smith did not provide an update following the game.


What's next

Senators: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV) 

Video: Crosby, Rust's hat trick helps Penguins top Senators

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