November 29, 2018 / 5:46 AM / 12 days ago

Avs top Penguins despite Crosby's natural hat trick

EditorsNote: adds “in the second period” in eighth graf

Gabriel Landeskog broke a tie with a goal at 10:05 of the third period, and the Colorado Avalanche recovered from blowing a three-goal lead to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in Denver on Wednesday night.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists for his sixth straight multi-point game, and Mikko Rantanen had two assists to extend his NHL-high point total to 42. MacKinnon ranks second in the NHL with 41 points. Samuel Girard, Erik Johnson, Colin Wilson and Carl Soderberg scored goals for Colorado, which has won six in a row and eight of nine.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby put on a show with his first hat trick of the season — a natural hat trick tallied in a span of just 5:35 — but it wasn’t enough. He has 11 hat tricks in his career.

Crosby’s third goal came 4:43 into the third to wipe away Colorado’s lead, but Landeskog got the winner when his shot went off the stick of defenseman Juuso Riikola and past goalie Tristan Jarry midway through the third period.

Jarry stopped 20 shots in his second start of the season.

The Penguins (10-9-5) pressed for the equalizer after that, but goaltender Philipp Grubauer made big saves down the stretch to preserve the win. Pittsburgh pulled Jarry for an extra skater with 2:14 left, but MacKinnon scored an empty-net goal with 29 seconds left, and Soderberg tacked on another 13 seconds later with Jarry back in the net.

Grubauer finished with 22 saves.

Girard got the Avalanche on the board with his second goal of the season midway through the first period. Johnson made it 2-0 in the second period when he scored his second goal at 5:13, which held up after Pittsburgh challenged for goaltender interference.

Wilson put the Avalanche up by three just 2:39 after Johnson’s goal when MacKinnon drew the defense to him and slid a pass across to him. It was Wilson’s seventh goal.

Crosby then took over late in the second period when he scored twice in a span of 42 seconds. He got the first one when he knocked in the rebound of his breakaway attempt, and then made it 3-2 with his 12th goal just five seconds into a power play at 19:50.

The Avalanche played their second consecutive game without Tyson Barrie, the team’s top-scoring defenseman who is out due to a lower-body injury.

—Field Level Media

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