FINAL
PHI
2
NYR
5
FINAL
WSH
2
TOR
6
FINAL SO
BUF
4
MTL
3
FINAL
OTT
1
TBL
4
FINAL
NJD
1
NYI
3
FINAL
PIT
3
CAR
2
FINAL
CBJ
1
NSH
2
FINAL SO
STL
3
MIN
2
FINAL
DAL
2
COL
5
FINAL
CGY
3
ARI
0
FINAL
CHI
4
LAK
1
FINAL
ANA
4
SJS
6

Bortuzzo, Ehrhoff lead Penguins past Hurricanes

Kurt Dusterberg  - NHL.com Correspondent | Sunday, 11.30.2014 / 12:29 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- On a night when high-scoring defenseman Kris Letang was out of the lineup, his partners on the Pittsburgh Penguins' back end showed off some skating and stickhandling abilities of their own.

Defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Christian Ehrhoff each scored in a tight-checking 3-2 Penguins win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Bortuzzo's goal gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead at 5:32 in the first period. He carried the puck over the blue line and skated between Hurricanes defensemen Jay Harrison and John-Michael Liles before firing a shot inside the left post.

"[Letang] was there after the first period in the tunnel with a good grin on his face, telling me I've been watching him too much," Bortuzzo said. "He's a great player. If I can make a play like that, I'm happy to do it."

Letang was a late scratch with a minor lower-body injury. Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Letang did not sustain the injury when Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty fell on his leg Friday during a 4-2 Carolina victory.

"I don't expect it to be too much," Johnston said. "He was with us on the trip, but [the medical staff] just felt this morning that he wasn't ready to play."

For the Penguins (16-5-2), the win against the Hurricanes came at the end of a stretch of six games in nine days and one night after a lackluster effort in which Carolina outshot them 35-22.

"When you can get a fresh start the next day and you know you're playing the same team, I think you're pretty motivated given the way things went the night before," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "I thought that was the case for us tonight. We were a lot better than last night."

The game started in an unwelcome but familiar fashion for Pittsburgh. Carolina again got on the board first. With Bortuzzo in the box for roughing, Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk took a pass from Victor Rask and blasted a high shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Penguins goalie Thomas Greiss at 3:39 of the first period.

Chris Kunitz answered quickly, scoring his ninth at 3:56 of the first to snap an 11-game goal drought. Evgeni Malkin circled the net and slipped a backhand pass to Kunitz, who snapped a shot past Anton Khudobin to tie the game. Kunitz started the play in the neutral zone when he spun and dumped a backhand beyond the goal line, where Malkin took over.

The Penguins had to weather three Carolina power plays in the second period, leaning on Greiss to make nine of his 32 saves on the penalty kills. Greiss kept Carolina at bay by fending off a couple redirected shots from the slot.

Greiss' best save of the period came at even strength, moving across the crease to stop Eric Staal's wrist shot on a 2-on-1.

"[Greiss] has played outstanding," Johnston said. "You saw the saves he made on the penalty kill tonight. He was great for us. Every game he's been in, he's given us a chance to win for sure."

Needing some breathing room down the stretch, Ehrhoff took matters into his own hands with a fine individual play. He skated the puck from his own blue line past two Carolina defenders, got off a shot on his backhand, then tucked the rebound into the net on his forehand for a 3-1 Pittsburgh lead with 4:33 remaining. It was his first goal of the season.

"I was going to go that way anyway, and the puck came back to me, and I just got a stick on it again," Ehrhoff said.

The veteran defenseman used Bortuzzo's goal to light a bit of a fire.

"It was definitely inspiring to see how he just walked through the middle there untouched and (put it) off the post and in," Ehrhoff said. "I told him on the bench, I took a page out of his book there on my goal."

Carolina's Elias Lindholm scored a power-play goal with 11 seconds remaining.

The Hurricanes (7-13-3) have lost seven of their past nine games. One night after carrying the play against Pittsburgh, Carolina couldn't find the same gear.

"I didn't think we played as well as the game went along," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "I thought the energy was obviously a part of it, but also the execution. We didn't get pucks in behind their defense."

Khudobin, who made 30 saves, remains winless at 0-5-2.

"He's been fine," Peters said. "I'm sure it's frustrating for him. It's something we'll address Monday with him and see where he's at. But we haven't scored when he's been in the net. That's the reality."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:39CAR PPG - Justin Faulk (3) ASST: Victor Rask (4), Nathan Gerbe (7) 1 - 0 CAR
03:56PIT Chris Kunitz (9) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (18), Blake Comeau (6) 1 - 1 Tie
05:32PIT Robert Bortuzzo (2) ASST: Paul Martin (5), Andrew Ebbett (1) 2 - 1 PIT
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
15:27PIT Christian Ehrhoff (1) ASST: Olli Maatta (7) 3 - 1 PIT
19:48CAR PPG - Elias Lindholm (7) ASST: Victor Rask (5), Eric Staal (9) 3 - 2 PIT
Three Stars of the Game
Christian Ehrhoff
1st
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 23:43
Thomas Greiss
2nd
SA: 34TOI: 59:53
GA: 2EV: 18-18
PIM: 0PP: 14-16
SV%: .941SH: 0-0
Justin Faulk
3rd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 25:04
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:17PIT Robert Bortuzzo  Roughing against  Eric Staal
10:42CAR Nathan Gerbe  Roughing against  Jayson Megna
10:42PIT Jayson Megna  Roughing against  Nathan Gerbe
10:42PIT Jayson Megna  Cross checking against  Nathan Gerbe
18:47CAR John-Michael Liles  Slashing against  Sidney Crosby
2nd Period
05:29PIT Evgeni Malkin  Hooking against  Jiri Tlusty
09:06CAR Jay Harrison  Delay of game
11:33PIT Sidney Crosby  Hooking against  Eric Staal
17:09PIT Blake Comeau  Boarding against  Ron Hainsey
18:15CAR Elias Lindholm  Slashing against  Christian Ehrhoff
3rd Period
15:50PIT Blake Comeau  Roughing against  Nathan Gerbe
15:50CAR Nathan Gerbe  Roughing against  Blake Comeau
18:31PIT Nick Spaling  Interference on goalkeeper against  Anton Khudobin
shots by period
PeriodPITCAR
1st1410
2nd1114
3rd810
Total3334
Team Stats
CategoryPITCAR
Power Plays0/32/6
Hits3823
Faceoff Wins2343
Giveaways78
Takeaways813
Blocked Shots1710
Penalty Minutes1610
  • PITTSBURGH
  • CAROLINA
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3O. MaattaD0112024:49
4R. ScuderiD0001020:15
7P. MartinD0110018:12
10C. EhrhoffD1024023:43
13N. SpalingC0001216:50
14C. KunitzL1025015:26
16B. SutterC0002019:11
17B. ComeauL0122414:58
23S. DownieR0001013:05
25A. EbbettC010006:24
27C. AdamsR0001011:02
38Z. SillC001106:19
41R. BortuzzoD1022213:57
47S. DespresD0000015:01
59J. MegnaC0002412:02
71E. MalkinC0133219:01
72P. HornqvistR0014017:39
87S. CrosbyC0002220:29
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1T. Greiss3234.94159:53
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4A. SekeraD00-10021:33
6T. GleasonD00-12011:46
12E. StaalC01-15020:58
14N. GerbeL01-21417:31
15A. NestrasilC00-11016:57
16E. LindholmC10-12215:27
18J. McClementC0000011:05
19J. TlustyL00-11017:54
20R. NashC00-23017:57
26J. LilesD00-16219:18
27J. FaulkD10-12025:04
28A. SeminR00-10014:49
39P. DwyerR000308:27
44J. HarrisonD00-1024:06
47M. JordanD0002014:00
49V. RaskC0201016:56
53J. SkinnerL0005020:34
65R. HainseyD00-10019:07
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
31A. Khudobin3033.90958:31