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Sidney Crosby’s hat trick propels Penguins past Jackets

Sportsnaut
Jan 21, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) passes the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets center Sean Kuraly (7) trails the play during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) passes the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets center Sean Kuraly (7) trails the play during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Crosby had a hat trick plus an assist Friday to lift the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins to their fourth straight win, 5-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Brian Dumoulin added a goal and two assists, Mike Matheson had one goal and one assist and Bryan Rust contributed two assists for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh goaltender Casey DeSmith gave up two goals on 12 shots in the first period, then was pulled. Tristan Jarry stopped all 15 shots he faced.

Gustav Nyquist and Boone Jenner scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost six of nine.

Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves.

Dumoulin gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the game. He took a point-to-point pass from Crosby, stepped up into the left circle and scored on a rising shot far side.

Nyquist tied it at 10:40 of the first period with the Pittsburgh on a power play. He picked the puck off in his end and took off, with only the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin on him. Nyquist fanned on a shot, then from beneath the left circle found a sliver between DeSmith and the near post for his NHL-leading fourth short-handed goal.

Jenner, with his team-leading 16th goal, put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-1 at 18:46 of the first. A shot got deflected over DeSmith off the glass, with the puck sliding out toward the right circle. Jenner’s shot handcuffed DeSmith and squirted between the goalie’s pads and over the goal line.

Crosby tied it with 28.7 seconds left in the first. A Rust shot went off a Blue Jackets player in front of Korpisalo, and Crosby, from near the left post, batted the puck in.

Matheson, with his third goal in two nights, broke the tie at 5:35 of the third. His slap shot from the top of the slot was initially stopped by Korpisalo, then trickled between Korpisalo’s pads and rolled over the goal line.

A potential tying goal by Max Domi was disallowed on a successful offside challenge by Pittsburgh.

Crosby scored on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle during a five-on-three power play at 13:32 to make it 4-2, then added an empty-netter with 1:58 left.

–Field Level Media