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Sidney Crosby's hat trick leads Penguins past Devils, 4-1

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby had his first career hat trick at Mellon Arena and added an assist, and the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped the New Jersey Devils' five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Saturday night.

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 - and first since Oct. 28, 2006, in Philadelphia - by scoring an empty-net goal with 2:01 to play. Crosby stripped Patrik Elias of the puck at centre ice and skated 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 defenceman to Sykora, who was all alone on the opposite side of the crease and converted at 7:26 of the second.

Crosby has nine points in the past three games to give him 34 in 23 games this season.

New Jersey briefly made a game of it 1:54 into the third when Rupp roofed a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Sabourin high to his glove side. Elias and Brian Gionta assisted on the goal, Rupp's second.

Notes: Crosby had a career-high six-game goal streak during his rookie season. ... Sykora's goal was his second in 10 games. ... League scoring leader Malkin had two assists to give him eight points in his past three games. ... Gionta has five goals and five assists during a seven-game points streak but did not have a goal for the first time in six games.

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