Florida's Olli Jokinen registered his second hat trick of the season when he scored three goals in the Panthers' 5-2 win over the Penguins. (He scored three goals against the Canadiens on Nov. 16.) Jokinen is the third player in Panthers history to notch more than one hat trick in a single season. Pavel Bure did that three times (four hat tricks in both 1999-2000 and 2000-01, two in 1998-99) and Ray Sheppard once (three hat tricks in 1996-97).
"It's a process for us," coach Michel Therrien said. "It can be very frustrating for us, with a young team."
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer, was held
without a point for only the second time in his last 14 games. He had a breakaway in the first period, but Alex Auld made a glove save on his wrist shot.
"We had the opportunity to change the momentum, whether it's a big goal or a big save, but we couldn't do it," Crosby said. "We have to figure out a way to win when we're not playing our best game."
Auld stopped 23 shots for Florida, while Jocelyn Thibault, making his first start in eight games for Pittsburgh, had 34 saves.
"It seems like they score a lot of goals against us," Thibault said. "What can I say? I wish I could have stopped them more."
Jokinen scored in each period, tipping in a pass from Jay Bouwmeester in the first and blasting one-time slap shots past Thibault in the second and third.
Florida took a 2-1 lead into the third period before Jokinen completed his hat trick 3:23 in. Stumpel scored 18 seconds later to make it 4-1.
"[Jokinen] is a top player and that's what you expect from your captain," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "It's nice to see a strong performance. We are going to need those kinds of performances going forward."
Jokinen's other hat tricks came Nov. 15, 2006, against Montreal and Nov. 25, 2005, also against Pittsburgh. ... Florida RW Juraj Kolnik returned after missing two games because of a groin injury. ... Pittsburgh D Josef Melichar left late in the second period with a leg injury and didn't return. He was to be further evaluated Thursday. ... Crosby had three goals and five assists in his first five career games against Florida.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: BB&T Center Location: Sunrise, Florida
Referees: Rob Martell, Dan O'Rourke Linesmen: Andy McElman, Jean Morin
Attendance: 16,098 (83.6% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Olli Jokinen (17)
Assists: Jay Bouwmeester, Bryan Allen
Olli Jokinen (18)
(Power Play) Assists: Martin Gelinas, Jozef Stumpel
Evgeni Malkin (20)
Assist: Michel Ouellet
Olli Jokinen (19)
Assists: Nathan Horton, Joel Kwiatkowski
Jozef Stumpel (11)
Assist: Martin Gelinas
Colby Armstrong (6)
Assists: Ryan Whitney, Maxime Talbot
Martin Gelinas (4)
Assists: Rostislav Olesz, Jozef Stumpel