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Pens Points: Hats Off to Sid

Crosby nets 10th career hat trick in 4-0 rout of Panthers. Pens honor Jagr with video tribute. Fleury pitches first shutout of the season to continue post deadline hot streak. Make-A-Wish kids sign with Pens.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Can you ever believe there was a time where people thought Sidney Crosby was no longer the best hockey player in the world? On Sunday afternoon Crosby once again proved how foolish some fans were with a sterling performance in a 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers. Up 1-0 thanks for a goal from Patric Hornqvist, Crosby and the top line went to work. When the dust settled Crosby was back atop the goal scoring race and knotted with Connor McDavid atop the points scoring list after a hat trick performance. Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary joined in on the action as well, each recording an assist on each Crosby marker. In between the pipes Marc-Andre Fleury received the start and notched his first shutout of the season, stopping all 21 Panthers’ shots he faced. The win helped the Pens keep pace with the Capitals and Blue Jackets in the Metro race and puts the team a single point away from clinching a playoff spot for the 11th straight season. [Pensburgh]

Against Calgary last week, Evgeni Malkin put his body (and the Pens Stanley Cup hopes) on the line blocking a shot. The result of his sacrifice? Missing the team’s last two games with an upper body injury. [Trib Live]

Though he left on controversial terms Jaromir Jagr will always play a crucial part in the history of the Penguins franchise. During a break in play Sunday, the Pens honored Jagr with a video tribute for making the NHL’s Top 100 list. [Penguins]

There is some debate on how significant home ice advantage really is in the playoffs. What is not up for debate is how well the Penguins are playing on their home ice this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

With his shutout on Sunday, Fleury continued his post-deadline tear between the pipes as he and Murray swap turns as starter. [Trib Live]

Asked to make an assessment of his recent play, goaltender Matt Murray did not hold back on the self criticism and provided a straight forward answer. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

On Saturday general manager Jim Rutherford added some needed depth to the Pens roster with the signings of five sure fire future stars. The five new players are a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and had a chance to sign with the team and join the players for practice. [KDKA]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk had some interesting thoughts on Olympics and especially his own superstar Erik Karlsson. [Puck Daddy]

The Blue Jackets became the second team to clinch a playoff spot. [NHL]