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Kasperi Kapanen scores first career hat-trick in Penguins shootout loss

Kapanen had been scoreless to start the season prior to Saturday night’s game.

NHL: NOV 06 Wild at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The floodgates have opened. At least that’s what Penguins fans will be hoping for.

Kasperi Kapanen started the 2021-22 campaign scoreless in his first nine games of the season — but Saturday night, he netted three goals, earning his first career hat-trick.

The 25-year-old winger, now in his second stint with the Penguins, had scored two goals in a game six times in his career, but never was able to complete the hat-trick until last night.

Kapanen scored twice in the first period, and extended the Penguins’ lead to 4-2 near the midway point of the third period. The team was unable to hold onto that lead, however, with the Wild scoring twice with an extra attacker on the ice, ultimately winning the game in a shootout.

After the game, Kapanen expressed feeling good about the hat-trick, but was disappointed by the result of the game.

“Really, it doesn’t feel as good as I wish it would,” Kap­a­nen said. “Yeah, it’s a big weight kind of lifted off my shoul­ders. But we can’t lose a game like that.”

The Penguins’ 8-game home stand has come to an end and the team will be hitting the road, looking to get back in the win column on Tuesday when they visit the struggling Chicago Blackhawks.