Jake Guentzel collected his fourth career hat trick and ran his career-best point streak to 12 games to lead the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins to a decisive 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
Guentzel has collected 10 goals and 16 points during his eye-popping roll, the league’s longest active run.
Sidney Crosby totaled one goal and two assists, Kris Letang earned three assists and goaltender Tristan Jarry made 22 saves as the Penguins snapped a three-game losing skid. Guentzel also added a helper.
Vasily Podkolzin replied for the Canucks, who saw their modest two-game winning streak snapped and sit last in the Pacific Division. Goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 40 shots before his team was jeered off the ice.
After a scoreless opening frame, Guentzel opened the scoring at 2:19 of the second period. A blocked point shot bounced to him in the right circle, and his effort banked off defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson and into the net.
Podkolzin’s power-play goal four minutes later, his fifth tally of the season, put the Canucks on the board. But the Penguins, notably Guentzel, dominated the rest of the period and were rewarded with a pair of five-on-three power-play goals.
Guentzel notched his second of the game at the 17:13 mark when another one-timer ricocheted home off Ekman-Larsson.
Guentzel completed his hat trick 70 seconds later with a third big break. His long shot deflected into the net off Canucks defender Luke Schenn for his 13th of the campaign.
Guentzel’s success against the Canucks is nothing new. In 10 meetings, he’s collected 12 goals and seven assists. To top it off, Guentzel has scored at least one point in all 11 road games this season.
Guentzel also played a part in the play that ended when Crosby notched his third goal of the season with 8:45 remaining to round out the scoring.
After a slow start to the season due to recovering from surgery and illness, Crosby has collected nine points (2-7-9) in five games.
–Field Level Media