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Pens vs. Coyotes recap: Hatric Hornqvist boosts Pittsburgh in big win

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Patric Hornqvist records his first career hat-trick on a huge night for the whole first line with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby also having great nights as the Penguins deliver a 6-0 beatdown of the Arizona Coyotes.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After making two trades with each other today, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes also played a game.

The Goals

Beauty of a shift by Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist culminates with Hornqvist finding a loose puck and swatting it by Arizona goalie Louis Domingue.

The first line kept rolling with Hornqvist scoring his second goal of the game as the second goal of the game when he tipped in a Kunitz shot.

Chris Kunitz gets in on the fun to make it 3-0, deflecting a Kris Letang shot, and hey how about that pass by Crosby to fin Letang all alone?

Hornqvist completes his first career hat-trick by slamming home a power play goal on a nice pass from Evgeni Malkin.

Letang just shows off and fires one through all the traffic to make it 5-0 to put the proverbial cherry on top.

Not wanting to be undone, Matt Cullen streaks down the left side, throws a puck on net and well, it just wasn't Domingue's night tonight. 6-0 Pens.

Some Thoughts

  • The Pens top line was dominant early and often, several lengthy o-zone shifts cycling the puck down-low, highlighted by the game's first goal by Hornqvist and continuing with all the other goals and chances they were generating.
  • Dangerous hit by Derrick Pouliot on Jordan Martinook in the first. Pouliot shoved/x-checked him just a little in front of the boards, right into the back. That's a bad hit and one that deserves a review from the league, as that's the type of play that should be eliminated from the game.
  • That mistake was compounded by Tom Kuhnhackl tripping the goalie behind the net, needlessly, to create a 3v5 situation. This usually leads to goals against but the Pens were lucky to catch a break when Arizona's best chance went off the cross-bar.
  • Twice a season The 'Yotes play the Pens and seemingly twice a season I give the obligatory (but honestly meant) opinion that Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the best player in the league who receives the least amount of press/buzz/attention at the league level.
  • Sergei Plotnikov report: a fairly visible game for a player who unfortunately was all-too-invisible in a Penguin uniform. In the first period, he threw 3 hits, but in the 2nd period he took a very bad tripping call in the offensive zone.
  • Nice breakaway speed by Bryan Rust in the second to earn a clean break. Couldn't finish but nice to see him driving to the net all alone.
  • The Pens continue to pile up the re-direct goals. They're getting a ton of offense by going high-to-low right now. That low, hard shot by Letang on the Kunitz goal was tailor-made to end up as a great deflection with 2 Penguins in front of the net.
  • Seemed like an old-school night with Crosby having the puck on his stick all night, generating dangerous chances and you look at the scoreboard and say wow, 3 assist night.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury rides under the radar on a night like tonight but let's point out a couple of really good saves he made when the score was 2-0, to keep it at 2-0. 5th shutout of the season for the old Flower.
  • Due to the makeup game tomorrow night, tonight's game starts a 5 game in 7 day stretch. That's really tough. Nice to see the Pens effectively put this one away early and be able to play a fairly stress-free, low-key 3rd period and roll even lines. That's a lot better than the alternative of having to battle to take out a team under them in the standings.

As mentioned, there won't be much rest this week, the Pens head right down to DC to take on the league best Caps tomorrow night.