Avs overcome Crosby’s natural hat trick, beat Pens 6-3
DENVER — Gabe Landeskog broke a tie midway through the third period and the Colorado Avalanche overcame Sidney Crosby’s natural hat trick to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Colorado won its sixth straight and is 8-0-1 in its last nine.
Nathan MacKinnon had three assists and an empty-net goal with 29 seconds left, his 18th goal of the season. Samuel Girard, Erik Johnson and Colin Wilson also scored for Colorado, and Mikko Rantanen had two assists.
Crosby erased a 3-0 deficit by himself. He struck twice in the final minute of the second period. His first came off his own rebound on a breakaway with 52 seconds to go, and struck again with 10 seconds left with Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth off for holding. Crosby tied it at 4:43 of the second to complete his first hat trick of the season. He has 13 goals.
Landeskog broke the tie with his 15th goal at 10:05. The Penguins pulled Tristan Jarry for an extra skater, but MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg scored to seal it.
Girard gave Colorado a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season at 11:19 of the first period, Johnson scored at 5:13 of the second and Wilson made it 3-0 at 7:52 of the second.
The Penguins challenged Johnson’s goal for goaltender interference but it was upheld upon review.
NOTES: Colorado D Tyson Barrie missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … Pittsburgh D Kris Letang, who set a franchise record for games played in Winnipeg on Tuesday, had his four-game point streak ended. … Colorado is 1-1-1 on the second game of back-to-back sets this season. It is 3-1-0 in the first game. … The first penalty wasn’t called until Crosby drew a holding the stick minor 49 seconds into the second period. Colorado’s Alexander Kerfoot got a high-sticking minor 19 seconds later.
Penguins: Host Philadelphia on Saturday night.
Avalanche: Host St. Louis on Friday night.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.