by Tony on 11/30/08 at 12:41 AM ET
In some respects, it was the ultimate compliment to John Madden.
With Madden, one of the best defensive and underrated forwards in the NHL out of the lineup, Sidney Crosby took full advantage, scoring his second career hat trick and propelling the Penguins to a 4-1 win over the Devils at the Igloo.
It was the second hat trick in three games for the Pens, who also got a hat trick from Evgeni Malkin on Wednesday versus the Islanders.
Malkin and Crosby are now alone at #1 and #2 in the NHL scoring lead, with 39 and 34 points, respectively.
Dany Sabourin was very solid in net for the Penguins, bouncing back from getting pulled from the Islanders game, saving 29 out of 30 shots.
Crosby started the scoring off for the Penguins quickly, as about a minute and a half into the game he drove down the right side and attempted to put a shot on net but the puck was deflected on a nice backcheck from Paul Martin. However, Crosby grabbed the rebound and made a great backhanded shot that got past Devils’ goalie Scott Clemmensen to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.
About seven minutes into the second period, the Penguins got their first powerplay goal since the Truman admininstration, starting with some nice stickwork to keep the puck in the Devils’ zone by Evgeni Malkin. Malkin eventually got the puck in the slot to Tyler Kennedy, who made an excellent between the legs pass to Crosby, who then made a nice saucer pass to Petr Sykora for the easy tap-in to make it 2-0 Penguins.
Four minutes later saw the Penguins expand their lead to 3-0. After a defensive turnover that led to a loose puck in front of Clemmensen, Malkin dove for the puck and got just enough of it to deflect it past Clemmensen to an awaiting Crosby, who was there to bang it home.
The third period started on an ominous note once again for the Pens. Mike Rupp got a pass from Patrik Elias and fired a nice wrister to the top shelf and past Sabourin to make it 3-1 Pens only 1:54 into the third period, as Pens fans collectively said “uh oh”. However, even with the Devils applying the majority of the pressure for the remainder of the game, they couldn’t put any more pucks past Sabourin.
The Devils pulled Clemmensen with about two minutes left in the game since they were down two goals. On the next faceoff, Crosby stole the puck and as he was getting tugged from behind and falling down, dove for the puck and directed it into the net for the hat trick.
- The powerplay went 1 for 5. Were they working harder ?? I imagine so, but they also had a 4 on 3 powerplay where they stayed completely still.
- Matt Cooke checked Zach Parise into the Devils’ bench, albeit with the door still open.
- Philippe Boucher and Pascal Dupuis were scratched.
- Mike Zigomanis was strong again on faceoffs, going 11 for 14.
The Pens will now go back on the road for the next three games, starting first at the Garden against the Rangers on Wednesday night.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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