PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby again picked up the slack with Evgeni Malkin out, getting his 10th career hat trick Sunday and leading the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Florida Panthers 4-0.
Crosby’s natural hat trick came in a span of 11 minutes between the second and the third period, pushing his goal total to an NHL-high 40 and moving him into a tie with Edmonton’s Conner McDavid for the league scoring lead with 80 points. Linemates Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel assisted on all three of Crosby’s goals.
Patric Hornqvist added his 18th of the season for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21 shots for his 44th career shutout, and the Penguins leapfrogged Columbus for second place in the Metropolitan Division behind Washington.
Florida’s Jaromir Jagr joined Gordie Howe, Mark Messier and Ron Francis as only players in NHL history to play in 1,700 games but the Panthers saw their fading playoff hopes take another hit. Reimer finished with 24 saves but received little help from those in front of him.
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