Jarome Iginla didn't misspeak. It's just that a couple of hours before he and the Calgary Flames played the Penguins at Consol Energy Center, he had no idea the angst Sidney Crosby would produce.
"Playing against him is a treat," the Flames winger said of the opposing captain.
Crosby then ran off his sixth career hat trick in a 4-1 Penguins victory.
Away from their day jobs in the NHL, Crosby and Iginla will forever be linked by a magical moment. Iginla set up Crosby for the overtime goal as Canada beat the United States, 3-2, in the gold-medal game of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
"When you're away from the rink, that's something special that we all accomplished," Crosby said.
The win, coming on home ice, and in particular that goal already and forever are part of Canadian lore.
Until Saturday, Crosby and Iginla had not been on the ice together since that game, Feb. 28.
"I hadn't really watched a lot of it since the Olympics, the highlights, but I just saw it again," Iginla, 33 and 10 years older than Crosby, said. "I guess I'm getting in the second half of my career or whatever and a little sentimental, but it's funny -- seeing it now, I definitely enjoy it.
"That's what you dream of when you're younger, to be part of a team like that. It's like peewee -- overtime goal, the gloves off. We're all big kids out there. There's so much riding on it. It if went the other way, we'd probably never hear the end of it up in Canada."
Although Iginla has more pressing concerns now with Calgary struggling, that golden moment easily still brings a smile to his face.
"That's something I'll never, ever, ever forget," he said. "It's the coolest moment I've been a part of in a hockey setting."
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma offered an update on center Jordan Staal, although the outlook hasn't changed much.
Staal was on the verge of making his season debut after overcoming a foot infection when he was hit in the hand by a puck Nov. 1 in practice. He had surgery, and the timetable then was for him to be out six weeks.
"A broken bone takes four, 41/2, five weeks to heal. A six-week, seven-week time frame is probably where he's going to be at, which would be middle of December," Bylsma said. "He's skating every day. He's in full workout mode. He's champing at the bit to get some equipment back on so he can get back out there."
A couple of items from the world of fun facts:
This was the third time in as many years that Crosby had a hat trick on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. He had the first of his career Nov. 29, 2008, in a 4-1 win against New Jersey, and his fourth Nov. 28, 2009, in an 8-3 victory against the New York Rangers.
Never mind that Crosby is Canadian, where Thanksgiving is celebrated in October.
Also, Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland and Flames winger Tim Jackman fought at 8:02 of the second period. It came exactly one year after their first fight, at 0:13 of the first period in a 3-2 Penguins loss when Jackman was with the New York Islanders.
Crosby, who is 0 for 3 on penalty shots in his career, on what went wrong on his first-period backhand attempt from point-blank range against Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff: "You make that move 3 inches farther out, and the puck maybe goes over his glove. The puck was going up; he just was able to take away the angle of it going up." ... Penguins forward Mike Comrie missed his second game in a row because of an unspecified injury. Bylsma said Comrie still was being evaluated. The team's healthy scratches were defenseman Ben Lovejoy and winger Eric Godard. ... Penguins defenseman Kris Letang became the 78th player in Penguins history to reach 100 points. ... Bylsma coached while ill Friday in a 2-1 victory against Ottawa but recovered for the game Saturday. ... Although Calgary's loss came on the heels of a shootout win Friday at Philadelphia, it wrapped up a 1-2-2 road trip and prompted a 10-minute postgame team meeting, although it wasn't players-only.