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Crosby adds to hat collection as Pens win eighth straight

Dec 3, 2010 - 5:20 AM
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby recorded the seventh hat trick of his career, as the sizzling Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to eight games with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Crosby also had a hat trick in the Penguins' last home game -- a 4-1 win over the Flames on Saturday -- and extended his point streak to 14 games.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves for Pittsburgh, which has won eight in a row for the first time since December 23, 2007-January 10, 2008.

"That's something you expect from him, because we see him every day," Fleury said of Crosby. "But it still amazes me how good he is, how hard he works to get better."

Bryan Little and Nik Antropov each lit the lamp for the Thrashers, who were trying for a club-record seventh straight victory.

Ondrej Pavelec turned aside 25-of-28 shots in defeat.

"It is what it is. We have to keep our heads up," Pavelec said. "They're on a roll; we're on a roll. We just lost one game. We've got to be ready for Saturday."

The Thrashers got a power-play goal from Little at the 6:21 mark of the first period. A shot from the right point set up a rebound in front for Little, who chipped the puck past Fleury. The Penguins came into the game without allowing a power-play goal in nine straight games.

Pittsburgh tied the contest at the 7:32 mark on Crosby's first goal of the night. Chris Kunitz controlled the puck at the bottom of the left circle and slid a pass in front for Crosby, who put the disc into the back of the net despite fanning on his first attempt.

Crosby's backhander on a breakaway just 4:24 into the second stanza made it a 2-1 game.

The natural trifecta was completed at the 10:18 mark. Brooks Orpik's shot from the left point deflected off Crosby's stick and past Pavelec for a 3-1 lead.

Atlanta made it a one-goal contest with 1:26 remaining. Antropov controlled the puck at the left circle and slid a pass down low to Niclas Bergfors, who passed right back to Antropov. This time around, Antropov fired a snap shot past Fleury.

Fleury made five saves in the third to preserve the victory.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh has won 10 of its last 11 overall versus the Thrashers, including a 4-2 victory in Atlanta on November 13. Atlanta has lost its last eight trips to Pittsburgh, where it hasn't won since December 27, 2006...Atlanta defenseman Dustin Byfuglien saw a six-game point streak come to an end...Crosby has 15 goals and 14 assists during his point streak...Pittsburgh has won five straight at home.