by Tony on 10/29/09 at 12:56 AM ET
I wonder what all those self-appointed “experts”, the ones who were asking what was “wrong” with Sidney Crosby this season, are saying now ?
Crosby scored his third career hat trick on the third anniversary of his first one in Philadelphia, while the Penguins had a dominating performance tonight in a 6-1 win over the Canadiens at the Igloo.
Chris Kunitz got off the schnide in a big way, with a goal and assisting on all three Crosby goals.
The Penguins are now 10-2 on the season.
Without a doubt it was Kunitz’ best effort of the year, possibly his best as a Penguin. All of his assists came as a result of hustling to corral loose pucks to keep the play alive.
Kunitz started the play that resulted in the Pens’ first goal of the night when he stole the puck in the Habs’ zone and fed the loose puck to Bill Guerin, who backhanded it to Crosby for a one-timer that beat Jaroslav Halak to the short side to make it 1-0 Pens at the 8:33 mark of the first period.
The Penguins doubled their lead in the second period when Alex Goligoski’s shot from center point deflected off Guerin and off the post. Kunitz grabbed the loose puck and fired a wrister on net that Halak stopped, but Crosby was there to gather the rebound, spin and launch a backhander to the top shelf making it 2-0 Penguins.
The Pens’ lead grew to 3-0 later in the second period on a delayed Habs’ penalty when Mark Eaton’s shot from center point was stopped by Halak, but Mike Rupp was there to poke the puck past him into the net at the 12:58 mark.
Crosby got his hat trick a few minutes later on another good hustling play from his linemates. Guerin and Kunitz teamed up to keep the puck away from the Habs and in their zone. Kunitz then grabbed the loose puck and found Crosby all alone in front of the net, where he made a nice backhand/forehand move that actually deflected off his skate and into the net after Halak stopped the inital effort. Officials reviewed the play, the goal was good, and Crosby had his third hat trick for the 4-0 lead.
The Habs finally got on the board early in the third period when the Pens got in penalty trouble and got down two men. Tomas Plekanec, who always plays well against the Pens, grabbed a rebound off a Brian Gionta wrister and banged it home past Marc-Andre Fleury to cut the Penguins’ lead to 4-1 at the 5:39 mark of the third.
The Penguins got that goal right back midway through the third on the powerplay when Goligoski fired a wrister from center point that got through everyone, including new Habs’ goalie Carey Price, and into the net, making it 5-1 Penguins.
The final tally of the night came again on the Penguins’ powerplay while the Habs were pinching, when Kunitz took a feed from new Penguins Chris Bourque for a breakaway and beat Price through the five-hole for the 6-1 margin.
- Guerin also had three assists.
- Goligoski now has points in six straight games.
- Not really surprising that Kunitz had the good night. You could feel it was just a matter of time, he was playing well, just couldn’t put the puck in the net.
- Pens’ powerplay went 2-for-5, although it’s obvious they’ve got a ways to go before their problems are ironed out.
- The first line of Crosby, Guerin and Kunitz were all +3.
- Crosby had nine shots on net, as well as going 16-for-24 in the faceoff circle.
- More attempted dangling through the entire Habs’ defense for Evgeni Malkin tonight, the vast majority of the time resulting in turnovers. Shockingly, no turnovers were awarded though.
- Five blocked shots for Brooks Orpik.
The Penguins will now travel to Columbus on Friday night, before hosting Minnesota on Halloween night.
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Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
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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