Crosby gets hat trick as Pens blast Habs 6-1
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:47AM EDT
PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby had his third career hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first NHL team to reach 10 victories this season, snapping the Montreal Canadiens' four-game winning streak with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night.
Crosby, tied for fifth in the NHL with nine goals, had his third multiple-goal game in 12 starts this season for Pittsburgh (10-2-0).
"When you get three goals in a game, that kind of changes the look of your (season) numbers early on,'' said Crosby, who has 36 goals in his past 55 games (including the playoffs). "I'm trying to shoot the puck when I get chances and trying to not pass up good shots, but it's just been a matter of the puck going in early on.''
Chris Kunitz also scored and assisted on all three of Crosby's goals. Mike Rupp and Alex Goligoski added goals, and Bill Guerin had three assists.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves, allowing only Tomas Plekanec's power-play goal.
Montreal's Jaroslav Halak stopped 19 of 23 shots before he was pulled after the second period.
"We made mistakes,'' said Montreal defenceman Hal Gill, who won the Cup with the Penguins in June. "We had some turnovers and (Crosby) feeds off that. He waits for it and that's when he capitalizes.''
The goal that brought the deluge of hats onto the ice came with 4:27 left in the second when Kunitz fed him all alone in front of Halak, who stopped his initial shot but the rebound ricocheted off Crosby's skate.