operation hat trick

Saturday November 24 2012 Operation Hat Trick charity NHL Hockey at Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Ben Fogletto

ATLANTIC CITY - Henrik Lundqvist stole the show at Operation Hat Trick Saturday night.

The New York Rangers goalie made 56 saves as Team Richards beat Team Hartnell 10-6 in front of a sold-out Boardwalk Hall.

James Neal scored four goals in front of 10,702 fans - the first hockey sellout at the historic building since 1933, according to Hall officials.

The crowd chanted "We want hockey" several times during the game, along with derisive chants directed at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

It was mostly good-natured, though, as the game was for a good cause.

“It makes you feel kind of good,” Team Hartnell's Kimmo Timonen said during an in-game interview. “You haven't played the game in a few months. It's nice to be out here for a good cause.”

Neal scored the first two goals for Team Richards. Mike Komisarek and Bobby Ryan also scored.

Team Hartnell cut it to 4-3 on goals by Simon Gagne, Wayne Simmonds and James van Riemsdyk in the first seven minutes of the second period.

But Neal capped off his hat trick to make it 5-3. Gagne scored again to make it 5-4, but Daniel Alfredsson and Brian Boyle scored in the final four minutes of the second to push Team Richards' lead to 7-4.

The crowd was treated to plenty of entertainment besides the goals in the second period.

Gagne, Justin Williams and Dan Carcillo did a dance in front of the benches after Gagne's first goal. A few minutes later, Team Richards coach Vinny Guadagnino of “Jersey Shore” fame gave an in-game interview and could hardly be heard above the boos.

Late in the second period, Carcillo and Arron Asham appeared ready to fight but were broken up by referee Kerry Fraser. Both were awarded penalty shots and both missed. At the intermission, arena reporter Lisa Hillary asked fans how much they would like to see Asham and Carcillo “go at it,” and drew raucous cheers from the crowd.

Team Hartnell goalie Martin Brodeur struggled in the first, giving up all four goals on just eight shots.

The only penalty of the first period was on Team Richards, but Team Hartnell's Steven Stamkos missed the penalty shot. The game had penalty shots instead of power plays.