knows how to hit milestones in style. Not only did he score his 200th career goal, but he also notched the first hat trick in the history of CONSOL Energy Center.
The Penguins captain scored an even-strength goal, a power-play goal and a shorthanded empty-net goal in a 4-1 victory over Calgary Saturday afternoon.
In the middle of the third period, the Penguins held a 2-0 lead and had a power-play opportunity.
Crosby worked his magic and sneaked his way into the slot. Paul Martin
blasted a slapper from the point and Crosby re-directed the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff to light the lamp for the 200th time in his NHL career, effectively sealing the deal for the Penguins victory.
“It just hit the toe of my stick, and it went in,” Crosby said.
Crosby entered the game with 198 goals, and he scored No. 199 in the second period. Chris Kunitz
drove to the net and sent a shot toward Kiprusoff. Kunitz pushed the rebound over to Crosby on the right side of the net. He snapped the puck in the net with a perfectly placed one-timer.
“I just went to the middle, and (Kunitz) faked a shot,” Crosby said. “He made a great play to go to the net. I just kind of fell off the side of the net and kind of got lost. He made a great play to pump it over to me. He’s been playing some great hockey, and that was a perfect play.”
But he didn’t stop there. Crosby notched No. 201 while the Penguins were killing off a penalty near the end of the game. Kiprusoff headed to the bench to make it a six-on-four opportunity for the Flames.
Crosby found the puck near the Penguins bench and shot it down the ice into the open net.
“I’ve missed a few empty netters, so those ones are nice,” he said.
For the first time in the history of CONSOL Energy Center, hats flew toward the ice for Crosby’s sixth career hat trick.
He must love playing on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, because for the past three years, Crosby has notched a hat trick on the day after Black Friday.
He hit so many milestones Saturday that he nearly lost track of grabbing the pucks to keep for his ever-growing collection.
“I think they got me the hat trick (puck), and the 200th one,” he said. “I don’t know which ones they got but they made sure they had them all, with a couple milestones there.”
Crosby seems to be finding new ways to reach milestones. In 2008, he notched his 100th goal, 200th assist and 300th point in the same game – a 4-1 victory over Toronto.
And as if scoring his 200th goal and sixth hat trick wasn’t enough, Crosby extended his scoring streak to 12 games, the NHL’s longest active streak. He now has 25 points throughout the stretch (12G-13A).
He is also off to his best start through the first 25 games in his career, with 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points.
That point total pushes him to the top of the NHL scoring race, two points ahead of Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos.
“You have a certain way that you want to play and hope that results in goals,” he said.”
Well, 201 goals to be exact.