Bryan Rust of Pontiac, MI notched his third National Hockey League career hat trick on Tuesday. Rust scored thrice as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators 7-3 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Rust scored his first goal of the hockey game with 45 seconds left in the first period on the power play from Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia and Evgeni Malkin of Magnitogorsk, Russia. At the time, the Penguins went up 3-1.
Rust’s second goal came at 13:29 of the third period from Patrick Marleau of Swift Current, Saskatchewan and Malkin. At the time, the Penguins went up 6-3. Rust then notched his first National Hockey League career hat trick with 2:50 left in the hockey game to make the score 7-3 Pittsburgh.
Even though Rust notched a hat trick, he did not lead the Penguins in scoring for the game. That is because Malkin had four assists. Other Penguins with a multi-point game were Crosby (one goal and two assists for three points), Jason Zucker of Newport Beach, CA (one goal and two assists for three points) and Conor Sheary of Winchester, MA (one goal and one assist for two points). The other Penguins goal scorer was John Marino of North Easton, MA.
Marleau and Crosby, who each recorded an assist on a Rust goal have something in common. They both won a gold medal for Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Rust is in the process of having a breakout season. He has career highs in goals (27), assists (26), points (53), plus/minus (+18), penalty minutes (28), power play points (16) and shots on goal (147). He also has two shorthanded points, four game winning goals, two faceoff wins, 33 blocked shots, 68 hits, 19 takeaways and 34 giveaways.
Rust had his first career hat trick in an 8-5 Penguins win over the Ottawa Senators on December 5, 2016. He then scored three times in a 6-3 Penguins loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on December 12, 2018.
The Penguins are currently in third place in the Metropolitan Division. With a record of 38 wins, 21 regulation losses and six losses in extra time, they have 82 points. Pittsburgh currently leads the Carolina Hurricanes by seven points for a playoff spot.