Islanders 2- Penguins 9
The last time two Penguins had hat tricks in a single game was in 1993. It was Mario Lemieux and Joey Mullen. Tonight, first career hat tricks by both Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis led to some cold-headed fans as snow flurries fell when they exited Mellon Arena. The Pens scored a season-high nine goals against the Islanders in an offensive clinic. The Pens were riding a three game skid into tonight’s game, and the Islanders were just what the doctor ordered.
John Curry got the nod in net tonight after Dany Sabourin started Wednesday night in New Jersey. But Rob Scuderi could have been in net tonight and the Pens still would have won. Dupuis and Sykora both scored in the first, along with Satan and Boucher, who notched in his first goal as a Penguin. After a 4-1 first period, there was no looking back. Malkin scored his 12th of the season early in the second, and was then followed by two Sykora power play goals and Dupuis’ second of the night. Sykora’s third of the night ended the longest streak in NHL history for a player without a hat trick that had at least two goals in a game. It was 8-1 after two.
After “Slippery Pete” scored his first career hat trick, the Penguins noticed that Dupuis was sitting nicely with two goals on the night, and he too had never had a hat trick. With 20 minutes to play, it was clear the team had a strategy….get the puck to Dupuis, similar to the way they had played the puck towards Sykora in the second. It seemed as though Dupuis was on every other shift, aiming to notch his third goal of the game. Play after play, Penguin teammates looked for Dupuis on the ice, often in front of the net hoping for a deflection or rebound. And with 3:12 left in the game, the hats began to fly again. Dupuis scored the first and last goals of the night, and took 50:23 between his first and third goals, but it was well worth it.
“You’re looking for a guy when he’s got two goals, especially with that score, you might force it more than you normally would.” -Sidney Crosby (Yahoo Sports)
As Penguins fans witnessed the first nine-goal game by the Pens since 2001, many were left wanting more. With less than three minutes left in the game and a score of 9-2, the few thousand remaining fans at Mellon Arena began to scream, “We want ten! We want ten!”
The Penguins had a breakout game for the ages. Only five Pens players in the lineup did not register a point. The Islanders tried to get physical as the game went on, but it only led to 11 power play chances for the Penguins, in which they cashed-in on three. With only one day off, a 9-2 routing of the Islanders was exactly what the Penguins needed as they head into Philly Saturday night.
- Sidney Crosby had three assists on the night, and Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, both extending their league-leading point totals
- Sykora had 38 career two-goal games without a third
- Goaltender John Curry got his second career victory, both coming against the Islanders
Dan | PPT