Patric Hornqvist’s natural hat trick in the third period powered the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 on Tuesday night.

The Avalanche had erased a three-goal deficit to tie the game going into the third when Hornqvist went to work.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Derick Brassard (19) can't get his stick on a rebound in front of Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) with Colin Wilson (22) and Ian Cole (28) defending during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Derick Brassard (19) can’t get his stick on a rebound in front of Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) with Colin Wilson (22) and Ian Cole (28) defending during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

His power-play goal 6:11 into the final period gave the Penguins the lead. Hornqvist beat Semyon Varlamov again just 1:21 later to push Pittsburgh’s advantage to two, and the veteran from Sweden completed the hat trick on his next shift when he fired a wrist shot by Varlamov less than 90 seconds later.

Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin and Derick Brassard also scored for the Penguins, who halted Colorado’s 11-game point streak. Kris Letang added two assists for Pittsburgh. Casey DeSmith finished with 42 saves.

Colorado Avalanche's Matt Nieto (83) celebrates as he returns to the bench after scoring in the second period as Sidney Crosby (87) heads back to his bench during an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Colorado Avalanche’s Matt Nieto (83) celebrates as he returns to the bench after scoring in the second period as Sidney Crosby (87) heads back to his bench during an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Tyson Barrie, Carl Soderberg and Matt Nieto scored for the Avalanche, who saw their six-game road win streak snapped. Varlamov made 26 stops, but struggled early and late.

Colorado Avalanche's Tyson Jost (17) can't get a shot past Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith (1) with Dominik Simon (12) defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Colorado Avalanche’s Tyson Jost (17) can’t get a shot past Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith (1) with Dominik Simon (12) defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon, good friends and frequent training partners in the offseason, put together a thrilling duel in Colorado last week, with MacKinnon’s four points able to help the Avalanche overcome a natural hat trick by Crosby in a 6-3 Avalanche victory.

The two stars went scoreless in the rematch, taking a backseat to Hornqvist.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel (59) prepares to deflect the puck past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) for a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jake Guentzel (59) prepares to deflect the puck past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) for a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Penguins needed just 7:27 to build a three-goal lead. Guentzel redirected a feed from Letang with his left skate just 2:46 in. Malkin followed just over four minutes later when he jammed home a shot from the point by Tanner Pearson for his first five-on-five goal since Oct. 30. Brassard beat Varlamov 35 seconds later and Colorado’s hot streak appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Pittsburgh then caught a break when a goal by Colorado’s J.T. Compher was overturned on a coach’s challenge when officials ruled Soderberg interfered with DeSmith.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) puts a shot behind Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) for a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin (71) puts a shot behind Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) for a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Still, the Avalanche managed to fire 18 shots at DeSmith in the opening 20 minutes, a hint at the flurry to come as Pittsburgh’s seemingly comfortable advantage vanished in a span of 5:01.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) celebrates with Patric Hornqvist (72) after his goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin (71) celebrates with Patric Hornqvist (72) after his goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Barrie’s power-play shot from the point 8:16 into the second gave the Avalanche momentum. Ian Cole, playing in Pittsburgh for the first time since helping the Penguins win consecutive Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, fired a knuckler toward the net that Soderberg managed to get a stick on and deflect past DeSmith.

Nieto found a gap with the Penguins on the power play to slip the puck by DeSmith to tie the game, the seventh short-handed goal allowed by Pittsburgh this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Derick Brassard (19) puts a shot past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) with Carl Soderberg (34) defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Derick Brassard (19) puts a shot past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) with Carl Soderberg (34) defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Hornqvist, one of the best net-front players in the league, collected a Letang rebound, spun around and whipped a shot by Varlamov 6:11 into the third to start a burst that ended with hats raining down from the sell-out crowd, and Colorado’s attempt to match the franchise record for consecutive road wins set during the 1998-99 season was over.

NOTES: Pittsburgh D Marcus Pettersson, acquired in a trade with Anaheim on Monday, played 13:00. … The Penguins sat defenseman Chad Ruhwedel and Juuso Riikola and forward Garrett Wilson. … Colorado scratched defenseman Mark Alt and forward Sven Andrighetto. …

Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel (59) celebrates behind Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) after scoring in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jake Guentzel (59) celebrates behind Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) after scoring in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh Penguins' Derick Brassard (19) celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Derick Brassard (19) celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Colorado: Begins a two-game swing through Florida on Friday when they play the Panthers.

Pittsburgh: Welcome the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Islanders won the first meeting between the two teams this season in a 3-2 shootout on Nov. 1.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) upends Colorado Avalanche's Samuel Girard (49) as they battle in front of goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (87) upends Colorado Avalanche’s Samuel Girard (49) as they battle in front of goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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Source: The Associated Press

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