Playoff Performer of the Night | Jake Guentzel
Jake Guentzel netted his first five-point NHL outing (4-1–5) and the second hat trick of his young Stanley Cup Playoffs career to help the Pittsburgh Penguins close out their first-round series by eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6.
Jake Guentzel’s impressive 21-point Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2017 matched an NHL postseason rookie record, and also included 13 goals to lead all scorers.
After netting his first five-point NHL outing (4-1–5) and the second hat trick of his young Stanley Cup Playoffs career, which included the game-winner among four consecutive goals in an 8-5 win for the Pittsburg Penguins Sunday night, one has to wonder where the rest of this postseason will take him.
Skating in just his second NHL postseason, Guentzel has demonstrated an acute ability to to score the big goals. No one on the Penguins – or any NHL team for that matter – has scored more than his six postseason game-winners along the team's quest to three-peat, which predates Guentzel's NHL debut by one season.
The forward’s night extended a run of dominance in Stanley Cup Playoffs action to keep his name at the top of the postseason scoring list with an identical 6-7–13 line to that of team captain, Sidney Crosby.
That's good company to be in – and not the only elite the 23-year-old has quickly found himself being mentioned among these days.
In addition to becoming the third player in NHL history to score four consecutive goals in a postseason game, Guentzel joined the likes of Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens, and again Crosby as the only Penguins in franchise history to record a postseason natural hat trick.
Updated @penguins with natural playoff hat tricks: Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens AND Jake Guentzel— Penguins PR (@PensPRLady) April 22, 2018
Guentzel also made Stanley Cup Playoffs history alongside Selke Trophy finalist, Sean Couturier (3-2–5) of the Philadelphia Flyers. The two became the first pair of opponents in NHL postseason history to both collect five points each in the same game.
Jake Guentzel (4-1—5) and Sean Couturier (3-2—5) are the first set of opposing players in NHL #StanleyCup Playoffs history to each collect five points in one game. #NHLStats #PHIvsPIT pic.twitter.com/alE2sMiAsx— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 22, 2018
The Penguins can rest while they await their Round 2 opponents to be decided, but could come as early as tonight when the Columbus Blue Jackets host the Washington Capitals to try and stave off elimination in Game 6 of their first-round series.