In retrospect, it probably was not a good idea in a sport in which fans celebrate hat tricks by throwing headwear onto the ice.
After a momentum-killing call went against the Hawks in the second period, they rallied with two goals in the third to earn a point but ended up losing for the third consecutive game.
The Hawks were flying high when Toews appeared to score his third goal of the night to provide a 3-2 lead late in the second period. An avalanche of plastic hats rained from the stands, but that celebration was premature as it was determined the goal had been knocked in with a high stick. The Penguins, who had scored the first two goals of the game, took advantage of the deflating decision and responded with two quick goals before the end of the period to lead 4-2 after two.
Toews finished his first career hat trick early in the third, and Dave Bolland tied it late in the period to send the game to overtime. But Evgeni Malkin scored 1 minute 36 seconds into the extra period while the Penguins were on the power play for the victory.
"It was a good night to give hats away," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I didn't mind most things we did all night. It's tough playing catch-up, and we were fortunate to get a point.
"[But] it would have been nice to get two because we had a lot of momentum and a lot of the play. We generated a lot of scoring opportunities. We did what we had to do except get the win."
The disallowed goal was similar to an incident Feb. 22 in the Hawks' 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. That call also went against the Hawks as the Wild's Dan Fritsche scored off a deflection of a high stick. A review of the video was deemed inconclusive, so the goal stood.
"We wanted this one pretty bad," said Toews, who now has 25 goals to surpass his rookie-season total. "They were a pretty hungry team. It was a tough one, considering we came back and we had the momentum late in the game. It's definitely disappointing."
Pittsburgh, which also got goals from Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz, Miroslav Satan and Maxime Talbot, was able to post the victory despite the absence of star center Sidney Crosby, who missed his second consecutive game with a groin injury.