Home Pittsburgh Sports College Basketball Crosby carries Pens

Crosby carries Pens

Sidney Crosby has joined Mario Lemieux in the record books again. The Penguin captain scored three goals in a 4-3 win over the Senators to join Lemieux as the only players in franchise history who have recorded multiple playoff hat tricks in Penguins uniform.

If even strength play was a question for the Penguins entering game two, they answered it in the opening frame.
“We were looking to get the second win as soon as we could and we talked about how this game was important to play our very best,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “That was the message and that is why you start Crosby. You look for those guys to set the tone.”
Crosby netted two first period goals and Pittsburgh outshot Ottawa 18-7 over the first twenty minutes of the contest. A lone powerplay goal by Kyle Turris kept the
Senators within striking distance.
The 25-year-old Penguin became the fifth fastest player in NHL history to reach 100 postseason points 3:16 into the game when he dangled reigning Norris Trophy winner Eric Karlsson at the blueline and shuffled a puck under Craig Anderson’s legs for a 1-0 lead. Paul Martin picked up an assist on the play, extending his playoff point streak to a career best four games.
“I’ve played with Sid before at some high levels. Almost nothing he does surprises you any more,” Jarome Iginla said of his linemate. “He does everything well. He competes every shift and does everything at top speed.”
Ottawa responded after two failed Penguin powerplays, knotting the game at one with a man-advantage goal of their own.
An offensive zone penalty by Evgeni Malkin led to a sloppy five-hole goal by Turris on Tomas Vokoun. The Senators center received a pass from Daniel Alfredsson to the right of Vokoun and snuck a shot past the goaline just seven seconds into the advantage.
Pittsburgh grabbed the lead back with a second Crosby goal three minutes later, however. The Penguins Hart Trophy candidate fooled Anderson to the shortside on an odd-man rush. His second goal of the game pushed him ahead of Ron Francis for fourth all time on the Penguins postseason scoring list.
“I think Anderson was getting ready to back off and I caught him there,” Crosby said of the goal. “I was trying to get some space to make a pass. There wasn’t much there but it just found a place to go in.”
Karlsson continued to struggle in the second period, as he hooked Matt Cooke 49 seconds into the frame. Crosby responded with his hat trick goal. With the tally, Crosby became just the second Penguin ever to record multiple postseason hat tricks.
“[Karlsson] wasn’t one of our best players,” Senators head coach Paul MacLean said. The Ottawa bench master sat his star defenseman after he served the penalty. “The best players played on our team. He wasn’t one of the best today so he didn’t play.”
Kris Letang located the puck at the blueline and shuffled it to no. 87 on top of the left circle who found space over a sliding Anderson for his first playoff hat trick since 2009.
“That [third] powerplay in particular was extremely effective. We had three powerplays in the second and one of them was that goal,” Bylsma said.
Robin Lehner replaced Anderson after the goal and received help from his offense just a minute after the Crosby marker.
Colin Greening worked an odd-man rush with Zack Smith and glided past Deryk Engelland to roof a shot over Vokoun. The one goal difference lasted nearly ten minutes before Brenden Morrow notched his first of the playoffs on a double deflection.
“I didn’t even know it defelected. Some people might say they meant to do it, but I just put my stick there and hoped it hit it,” Morrow said of his goal.
“He’s played so hard and been so great for us,” Iginla added. “He’s been one of our physical guys in a shutdown role. He’s getting great looks and he’s always in front of the net creating havoc, so it was great to see him get that tip.”
Pittsburgh had a chance to extend the lead when Chris Neil was whistled for slashing, but the Senators killed the penalty and nearly pulled the contest back to one goal on the kill. Rookie Cory Conacher again threatened with 2:52 remaining but was stoned by Vokoun.
“Vokoun came up big twice on breakaways. He made a couple of really solid saves for us,” Bylsma said of his goaltender. “Credit him for the saves in the second when they didn’t have a lot of shots at that time.”
A 17 shot advantaged paced the Penguins through the second period despite whiffing on three of four powerplay opportunities during the frame.
An early third period goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau pushed the Penguins after a lopsided second period. Pittsburgh held on though, taking game two 4-3 for a 2-0 series lead.

Game three will be in Ottawa Sunday night.

Previous articlePirates outlast Brewers behind stellar pitching, 3-1
Next articleAlvarez powers Pirates to 5-4 walk-off victory over Astros