What’s better than a playoff hat trick? Two playoff hat tricks in a single game.
What’s better than two playoff hat tricks in a single game? Two playoff hat tricks in a single game by players who were pretty much universally regarded as the absolute best in the NHL.
That’s exactly what took place seven years ago Wednesday, when Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin each potted three goals in Game 2 of an epic second-round playoff series between Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins and Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals.
The dueling hat tricks — the first of each player’s playoff career — accounted for six of the seven goals that night in Washington, with a second-period tally by David Steckel proving to be the difference in a 4-3 Capitals win.
The series as a whole was an all-timer, with three of the seven games requiring overtime and four being decided by a single goal.
The Capitals held a 2-0 series lead but went on to lose four of the final five contests — including a 6-2 trouncing in Game 7 — to continue their long history of playoff heartbreak, while the Penguins’ ride took them all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, where they dispatched the Detroit Red Wings to win their first title since 1992.
Crosby and Ovechkin currently are in the midst of their first playoff matchup since that 2009 classic, but neither has been much of a factor thus far. Ovechkin has a goal and an assist through three games, while Crosby has yet to crack the scoresheet and is a minus-3.
Pittsburgh has the edge on the scoreboard, however, taking a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Wednesday night.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images