Hat-trick by Crosby leads Penguins over Senators

AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania

Sun, May 19, 2013 - Page 19

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby scored his second career playoff hat-trick to give the Penguins a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday, and a 2-0 lead in the NHL Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Brenden Morrow added his first playoff goal in more than five years and Tomas Vokoun made 19 saves, while 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.

Kyle Turris, Colin Greening and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators, but could not 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 scheduled for today in Ottawa.

Crosby became the fifth player in franchise history to record 100 playoff points and did so in spectacular fashion. He scored the opener 3 minutes, 16 seconds into the game, collecting a pass at the blue line, darting up the line, splitting two Senators and then ripping a shot under the goalie’s pads.

Turris tied the game with the first soft goal Vokoun has allowed since taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 of the first-round series. 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, but 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.

Crosby did not need any fancy stick work to record his first postseason hat-trick since 2009. Instead, he powered a slap shot over Anderson’s glove from the left circle to push Pittsburgh’s lead to 3-1. Anderson skated to the bench, replaced by Robin Lehner.

Greening responded almost immediately after the switch, beating Vokoun with a sizzling wrist shot 40 seconds later to get the Senators within one.

Morrow restored the two-goal lead by redirecting Paul Martin’s blast from just outside the crease. It was Morrow’s first postseason score since 2008, while playing for Dallas.