On November 27, 2010, Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff surrendered a hat trick to the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby. Hard as it is to believe, it wasn’t so much the three goals he allowed as it was the penalty shot he stopped.
Entering the Saturday tilt at newly-opened Consol Energy Center, Crosby was in peak form. He’d already scored 15 goals and 37 points through 24 games. Crosby wouldn’t suffer the career-threatening, Winter Classic concussion for more than another month. UPMC concussion specialist Mickey Collins would later dub the centerman a “Ferrari” after David Steckel’s hit.
Anyhow, at the 4:14 mark of the first period, Calgary’s Brendan Morrison was called for hooking on Crosby’s breakaway attempt. The Flames’ broadcast crew questioned the call, as you’ll hear during the replay below.
Crosby brought out every trick in the book with his fakes, but Kiprusoff wouldn’t bite. In fact, it almost looked like Crosby back-handed the puck directly into the goalie’s glove on purpose. At the time, little did anyone watching the game realize the impact that save would have on hockey history.
Following a rare goal by the Pens’ Arron Asham to open scoring in the second period (I can’t recall whether Asham gave his Mario Lemieux glove-wiggle tribute after the goal), Crosby made it 2-0 with an even-strength goal from Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang.
The Penguins captain then collected his second goal of the game – a power-play marker — midway through the third. The goal represented Crosby’s 200th of his career. Paul Martin and Letang were credited with assists on the play.
Flames forward Rene Bourque ended any hopes of a Pittsburgh shutout, tallying his 11th goal with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation. So with a 3-1 lead late, goalie Brent Johnson was pretty much assured of a victory. But the fun wasn’t quite over.
When Letang was called for holding with less than two minutes left in the game, Calgary went on the power play. The Flames, naturally, pulled their goalie.
Then, with 37 ticks left, Crosby capped off his hat trick with a short-handed, empty-net goal.
Here are Crosby’s three goals.
“The Kid” – he was still only 23 at the time, potted three goals four different ways: even strength, power play, short-handed and empty net. All that was missing was a penalty shot.
The NHL.com is holding a vote for the single greatest moment in the league’s 100-year history. The final two moments include Mario Lemieux scoring five goals five different ways and Bobby Orr floating away with a Stanley-Cup winning, overtime score.
Monday marks the seventh anniversary of Sidney Crosby’s dance, when he nearly did Le Magnifique one better, and nearly scored five different ways on only four goals.
As it stands, November 27, 2010 is little more than a footnote to Crosby’s illustrious career, but if Crosby had gone five-hole on Kiprusoff instead of backhand on his penalty shot attempt … one wonders. The NHL might well have had another “greatest moment” in its final round of voting.
Crosby would go on to notch 14 goals and add 13 helpers in his next 16 games before Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman would concuss him for a second time in as many games with an innocent-looking check behind the net, ending his season.