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Crosby’s hat trick powers Penguins



Published: Sat, May 18, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH

Sidney Crosby had his second career playoff hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators, 4-3, on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Brenden Morrow added his first playoff goal in more than five years, Tomas Vokoun made 19 saves and the Penguins rode their superstar captain to their fourth straight victory.

Crosby beat Craig Anderson three times in the game’s first 22 minutes, sending the goalie to the bench after stopping 18 of 21 shots.

Kyle Turris, Colin Greening and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators, but couldn’t stop Ottawa from falling into a deep hole against the Eastern Conference’s top seed. The Senators have never won a playoff series after dropping the first two games.

Game 3 is Sunday in Ottawa.

The Senators insisted they didn’t have to play a perfect game to hang with the Penguins, pointing to the way they controlled play at even strength for long stretches in a 4-1 loss in the series opener Tuesday night. Ottawa insisted if it could stay out of the penalty box and convert when it had the man advantage, it would be right there.

Despite doing both in the first period — killing two penalties and converting on Turris’ bank shot on the power play — the Senators still trailed 2-1.

More to the point, they trailed Crosby 2-1.

The Pittsburgh captain became the fifth player in franchise history to record 100 playoff points in spectacular fashion. He collected an innocent-looking pass at the Pittsburgh blue line then darted up the left side. He split two Senators — including Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson — then ripped a shot under Anderson’s pad to give the Penguins the lead 3:16 into the game.

Turris tied it with the first soft goal Vokoun has allowed since taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 of the first-round series against the Islanders. Turris collected the puck near the left post and shot it off Vokoun and into the net.

Crosby one-upped Turris a few minutes later, zipping down the left side once again. This time, Crosby appeared to be looking to pass, eyeing linemate Pascal Dupuis as they raced in on Anderson. Only Crosby didn’t pass. At the last second and without even peeking directly at Anderson, he flipped a wrist shot near the goal line that smacked off the goalie’s pad and into the net.

Karlsson, who is still working his way back from an Achilles injury sustained when Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke inadvertently slashed Karlsson with his skate, drew a hooking penalty on Cooke early in the second.


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