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Sidney Crosby’s hat trick can’t save Penguins in loss

The Associated Press
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Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby reacts after his hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in Denver. The Avalanche won 6-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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.

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 he 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.

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.

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.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who set a franchise record for games played Tuesday in Winnipeg, had his four-game point streak ended.

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.

The Penguins host Philadelphia on Saturday night.

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