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NHL roundup: Sidney Crosby’s hat trick lifts Penguins

Crosby had three goals and an assist.

Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images

Crosby had three goals and an assist.

Sidney Crosby put together another impressive performance, and the Pittsburgh Penguins needed each one of his big plays.

Crosby had three goals and an assist and Matt Niskanen scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 18.6 seconds left, lifting the Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

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‘‘It was evident today for us,’’ Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said of Crosby’s leadership.

Niskanen scored from the top of the left circle, with Crosby getting an assist.

‘‘We kind of have a little bit of a plan on what we want to do on the power play, and for the most part we just kind of read and take what’s there,’’ said Niskanen, who scored for the first time in 22 games.

Crosby tied it at 3 with a knee-high re-direction of Rob Scuderi’s shot 25 seconds into the third, and then put Pittsburgh in front when he scored from the right circle with 9:34 remaining. It was his eighth career hat trick.

‘‘Pucks are going to be around there,’’ Crosby said about playing near the net. ‘‘It’s not an easy place to go, and you’re going to have to force yourself to go there as much as you can. Luckily there was some pucks around there, and I was able to get some good quality chances from there.’’

Crosby has a point in all five games this season.

It’s his longest point streak to start a season since a six-game stretch in October 2005.

Alex Killorn got the equalizer for Tampa Bay with 3:02 to play. Valtteri Filppula, Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell also scored for the Lightning (3-2).

‘‘I think that was an even hockey game,’’ Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. ‘‘They got that last break at the end and capitalized on it.’’

Avalanche 5, Capitals 1 — Alex Tanguay scored twice and Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves in his return to Washington as Colorado remained perfect under coach Patrick Roy.

It is the first time the franchise is 5-0 since the 1994-95 season when the team was the Quebec Nordiques.

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon added his first NHL goal and an assist, and Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn also scored for Colorado. Peter Stastny earned two assists, including his 400th NHL point.

Varlamov, traded by the Capitals to the Avalanche in 2011, carried a shutout into the third period before Eric Fehr beat him at 2:03. Varlamov is 4-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average.

Michael Neuvirth made 23 saves for the Capitals (1-4) in his first start this season. Washington has lost three straight.

Maple Leafs 6, Oilers 5 — Dave Bolland scored in overtime after Joffrey Lupul had the tying goal with 31 seconds left in regulation, leading host Toronto over Edmonton.

Bolland finished off a 3-on-1 rush with Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner just over two minutes into the extra period.

Lupul and James van Riemsdyk had two goals apiece for Toronto, and Nazem Kadri also scored. Jonathan Bernier, making his third straight start, stopped 26 shots for the win.

Ryan Smyth had two goals for Edmonton.

Blues 5, Rangers 3 — David Backes scored twice, and unbeaten St. Louis dropped slumping New York.

The Blues, who haven’t trailed at all this season, are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Derek Roy, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko added goals for St. Louis, which has outscored its opponents 19-7.

Ryan Callahan scored twice for the Rangers (1-4), and Brad Richards added his team-leading fourth goal. New York, which has four games left on a season-opening, nine-game trip, has lost three in a row by a combined score of 20-5.

St. Louis scored four times on its first 17 shots against backup goalie Martin Biron, who was making his first start of the season.

Biron was pulled after the second period in favor of regular netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

Wild 5, Stars 1 — Rookies Justin Fontaine and Mathew Dumba both scored their first NHL goals and Josh Harding made 18 saves for his second straight win as host Minnesota overpowered Dallas.

Minnesota came in giving up a league-low 22 shots per game, and kept the pressure off Harding, who was filling in for injured starter Niklas Backstrom. Two nights after stopping 14 of 15 shots in a 2-1 win over Winnipeg, Harding faced only 19 shots as the Wild controlled play from the opening faceoff.

Red Wings 5, Flyers 2 — Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and an assist, and Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and two assists to help host Detroit rout Philadelphia.

Blackhawks 2, Sabres 1 — Corey Crawford made 28 saves to lead host Chicago over winless Buffalo.

Predators 3, Islanders 2. — Seth Jones scored his first NHL goal and host Nashville edged New York.

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