The Penguins continued their stretch of great play with a 4-1 victory over Calgary Saturday afternoon. Pittsburgh pulled off the sweep of back-to-back afternoon games, and extended its unbeaten streak to nine contests (8-0-1).
The hero against the Flames was Sidney Crosby, who recorded his sixth career hat trick with a three-goal effort.
Brent Johnson gave the Penguins another solid outing from between the pipes. He turned aside 30 of 31 shots to pick up his seventh win of the season.
The Penguins dominated the Flames from the start. Pittsburgh had a decisive advantage in zone time, possession time and shots. Pittsburgh set a new season high for shots in a period with 24 in the opening frame. The Penguins finished the game by outshooting Calgary, 43-31. And Pittsburgh only had seven in the final period.
The Penguins are now 5-0-1 in their last six games at CONSOL Energy Center. The hot streak has the Penguins at 15-8-2 on the season for 32 points. They trail Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia and Washington by only two points.
Sidney Crosby continued his early-season tear with a three-goal effort against Calgary, his sixth career hat trick. Crosby scored three goals, three different ways (even-strength, power-play and shorthanded).
Crosby found a rebound to the side of the net to bury his first goal of the game in the second period. He added two in the third period. Crosby re-directed a shot from the midpoint through goalie Miikka Kiprusoff on the power play. He finished off the game with an empty-net goal while the Penguins were killing a penalty.
With three goals in the contest, Crosby extended his season-long scoring streak to 12 games, the longest in the NHL this season and third longest of his career. Crosby has 25 points (12G-13A) during the streak. Crosby also passed the 200-goal mark in his career, now standing at 201.
At the moment, Crosby has retaken the NHL’s scoring lead with 40 points (18G-22A). That’s two more than second-place Steven Stamkos.
Deryk Engelland helped save a goal halfway through the second period with the game scoreless. Brent Johnson made a save on an initial Calgary shot. The rebound sat in the slot where Tom Kostopoulos had a wide-open net to shoot into. However, Engelland got down on one knee and blocked the shot. He finished the game with four blocked shots, but none were more important than that one.
The Penguins broke the scoreless tie less than two minutes later when Arron Asham finally beat goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. Pittsburgh, which had dominated the game, was off and running after that.
(AP) - Sidney Crosby scored three times after Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped him on a penalty shot early in the game and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their sixth in a row, beating the Flames 4-1 on Saturday behind backup goalie Brent Johnson.
Crosby made it 2-0 in the second period by putting in Chris Kunitz's rebound, then scored his 200th career goal midway through the third when Paul Martin's shot from above the circles deflected off his stick. Crosby has 12 goals and 13 assists during a 12-game scoring streak.
Crosby completed his sixth regular-season hat trick and first this season by scoring into an empty net with 36.4 seconds remaining during a Flames power play in which Calgary created a two-man advantage by pulling Kiprusoff.
• The Penguins goaltending has been the backbone of the club this season. Brent Johnson put together another stellar effort for Pittsburgh, stopping 30 of 31 shots. Pittsburgh netminders have allowed only two goals in the last three games, and four in the last four. The Penguins rank fifth in the NHL in goals allowed per game at 2.36.
• Defenseman Kris Letang had an outstanding game, finishing with three assists. He made an outstanding play in his own zone to help spring the Penguins for their second goal. Letang lost his stick, but managed to recover it in time before landing a hit on Calgary’s Olli Jokinen in the corner. Letang separated Jokinen from the puck, recovered the rubber and made a great outlet pass to Chris Kunitz. Seconds later, the Penguins were on top 2-0. In the third period, Letang made a nifty play to keep the puck in the zone on a power play and made a blind, between-the-legs pass to Evgeni Malkin. On the ensuing possession, the Penguins buried a power-play goal for a 3-0 lead.
• Sidney Crosby was awarded a penalty shot in the first period after Brendan Morrison hauled him down on a breakaway. Crosby deked and went backhand, but Miikka Kiprusoff gloved the puck. Crosby is now 0 for 3 in his career on penalty shots.
• One day after the Penguins set a new season high for shots in a period with 20, they broke that with a 24-shot effort in the first period against Calgary. The Penguins finished the game with 43 shots on goal. They recorded 40 against Ottawa Friday afternoon. So they’ve fired 83 shots in the last two games.