Pittsburgh Penguins Time Capsules: “Trickiest” Players in Playoffs

Pittsburgh Penguins, Martin Straka. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Pittsburgh Penguins, Martin Straka. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /

On Apr. 23, 1992, Mario Lemieux scored his second career playoff hat-trick in the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 victory over the Washington Capitals. In that spirit, here’s a look back at some “Tricky” performances.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have deployed some serious firepower since their inception into the NHL in 1967.

Given the hall of fame talent that has represented the Penguins in the postseason, you would expect to see a lot of hat tricks on the board.

That’s a pretty notable list, but here’s a look back at a few Penguins players you may not have known collected playoff hat tricks with the team.

Ken Schinkel – Apr. 11, 1970, vs. Oakland Seals

The 1969-70 season marked the first time the Penguins made it into the playoffs and during game 3 of the series, Schinkel scored three goals in the Penguins 5-2 victory and earned the first playoff hat trick in team history.

Schinkel finished second place in regular-season scoring with 45 points, and the team’s scoring leader Dean Prentice (51 points) assisted on all three of Schinkel’s goals.

Martin Straka – Apr. 25, 1999, vs. New Jersey Devils

Straka racked up 5 hat tricks during his two stints in Pittsburgh, including this one from the 1999 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.

Straka opened the scoring 6 minutes into the game, scored the tying goal in the second period, and potted the insurance marker late in the third to secure a 4-2 victory for Penguins and a 2-1 series lead.

With 6 goals and 15 points in 13 games played, Straka led the Penguins in postseason scoring, finishing three points ahead of Jagr and Alex Kovalev, who scored 12 points each.

Jordan Staal – April 18, 2012, vs. Philadelphia Flyers

After the blood bath of a game that was game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, the only certain thing was that Jordan Staal had scored the third hat trick of his career and first in the playoffs.

Staal’s first goal of the game (also the game-winner) capped off a 7 goal first period between the two clubs.  Staal’s second (powerplay goal) and third goals were scored in the second period and completed the hattrick.

The Penguins took the game 10-3 and bought themselves another game to try and get back into the series.

Staal finished the series with 6 goals and 9 points in 6 games.

James Neal – May 24, 2013, vs. Ottawa Senators

In the 6th game of their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals match-up vs. Ottawa, Neal put on a clinic.

Neal finished the game with four points, and scored his first goal in the second period and added two more in the third, he also added an assist in the Penguins 6-2 routing of the Senators.

Neal finished the playoffs with 10 points in 13 games.

Patric Hornqvist – Apr. 13, 2016, vs. New York Rangers 

Usually, a hat trick in a playoff game would be enough to grab the headlines on the nightly news, unfortunately for Hornqvist, his strong performance in game one of the Penguins first-round series vs. New York, was overshadowed by Jeff Zatkoff‘s 35 save victory.

Hornqvist opened the scoring late in the first period, earned an assist on Crosby’s second-period goal, and completed the hat trick with two goals in the third period.

Hornqvist finished the playoffs with 9 goals and 13 points in 24 games played.

Who is your favorite Pittsburgh Penguins “Trickster”?  Drop it in the comment section below!