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Penguins

Hat trick gave Penguins' Sidney Crosby no bragging rights over buddy Nathan MacKinnon

Jonathan Bombulie
| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, 1:09 p.m.
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, left, loses control of the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang covers in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in Denver.
David Zalubowski/AP
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, left, loses control of the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang covers in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in Denver.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby goes up against a who’s who of top centers in the NHL on a nightly basis.

It’s a little different when he faces the Colorado Avalanche.

That’s when Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon – Nova Scotia natives, good friends and frequent summer workout partners – take their friendly rivalry to another level.

Is it more fun or more nerve-racking for Crosby when the player looking across the faceoff dot at him is a good pal?

“It depends on the night, I guess,” Crosby said with a laugh after morning skate. “I think you just want to win. You want the bragging rights. It’s fun because you play against each other, you compete against each other all summer whether it’s training or on the ice. Now it actually means something. It’s two points and it’s important two points. There are always matchups, but those ones are always a little different.”

The last time the teams met, MacKinnon had a goal and three assists as the Avalanche rallied for a 6-3 victory over the Penguins last Tuesday in Colorado.

Did Crosby maintain at least some bragging rights because he had a hat trick in the loss?

“No, because I wouldn’t have let it go the other way,” Crosby said. “Gotta be true to that. That’s not the case, unfortunately. He had four points, too, so it doesn’t help.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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